Despite his team's recent shooting woes, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has a chance to move one step closer to the top of a very impressive list.
Boeheim looks to tie Bob Knight for second all-time in wins among Division I coaches with his 902nd when the seventh-ranked Orange host Central Connecticut State on Monday.
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski leads with 939 wins, but Boeheim is the only one of the three to reach 900 wins at one school.
"If you coach a long time, you're going to win a lot of games, it is a simple as that," Boeheim said. "I am in a good place and I've always felt I was."
He appears likely to move up those ranks with the Orange (11-1) looking to extend a school-record 31-game winning streak at the Carrier Dome, the longest active home run in the nation.
Syracuse, however, will need a quick fix for its recent shooting woes after a poor performance in a 57-36 victory over Alcorn State on Saturday. The Orange shot season lows of 42.9 percent (12 of 28) from the free-throw line and 37.5 percent (21 of 56) from the field - including 3 of 15 from 3-point range.
Boeheim's team has shot 42.9 percent overall in the last three games and missed 22 of its last 27 attempts from beyond the arc. Perhaps even more concerning is the team's 54 percent (75 of 139) shooting from the foul line over its last five games. The Orange rank near the bottom of the league in free-throw percentage (62.9).
Seniors James Southerland and Brandon Triche - Syracuse's top two scorers - will try to bounce back after combining for eight points on 2-of-13 shooting against Alcorn State.
Junior C.J. Fair has been a bright spot, scoring 38 points on 14 of 24 from the field in his last two games.
"We're not clicking as a team right now,' said guard Michael Carter-Williams, who has shot 5 of 26 (19.2 percent) in his last three contests. "I'm not sure what it is. I don't have an answer. I don't know what's wrong with our offense."
Syracuse might be able to get back on track against a Central Connecticut State team that has allowed 83.4 points in dropping four of its last five.
The Blue Devils (4-6), though, put together one of their best defensive efforts of the season Saturday. They limited visiting St. Peter's to 36.1 percent shooting, but still dropped their third straight, 71-69
Guards Kyle Vinales and Matt Hunter give Central Connecticut State a dangerous scoring tandem, averaging 21.4 and 19.0 points, respectively. Hunter scored a career-high 40 in the Blue Devils' 100-69 loss to then-No. 1 Indiana on Dec. 8.
The Orange will also have to contend with sophomore forward Adonis Burbage, who made 5 of 8 3-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points against St. Peter's.
Syracuse will try to make it 42 straight wins at the Carrier Dome against non-conference opponents in its first meeting with Central Connecticut State.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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