Do not tell Syracuse head coach Jim Boehiem that his out of conference schedule is a pushover, even if the results of the last week - routs in the Carrier Dome over the visiting trio of Eastern Michigan, Long Beach State and Monmouth would indicate otherwise.
First, the Orange soundly defeated Eastern Michigan 91-54, doing so by taking advantage of a full-court press that scored 24 points off 17 turnovers.
Even with that, Boeheim said, at length, that his players were not as good as what most people said because they made too many mistakes, adding there were some players that need to perform at a higher level.
So how would the no. 4-ranked Orange respond to these constructive criticisms? on Thursday night, SU did so with a convincing 84-53 victory over Long Beach State.
It was the 7-0 Orange's most impressive win of the season because, for the most part everyone played well and had an integral role. It was Boeheim's 897th career win, and SU increased its home win streak to 27 games. The Orange also won its 49th consecutive regular-season nonconference game.
C.J. Fair contributed off the bench with a season-best 16 points and 13 rebounds. Fair was persistently aggressive and scored half of his points on second chance opportunities, while also getting loose-ball rebounds. SU again won the battle of the boards, 53-39, and it has not been out rebounded all season.
Making a strong case as one of the best point guards in the country, Michael Carter-Williams notched his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 assists
Brandon Triche, Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas all chimed with 11 points. Dajuan Coleman had only four points, but managed nine rebounds.
''I think our only deficiency as a team was rebounding'' said Triche. ''We were so good offensively, but teams would still beat us by five or 10 rebounds, This year it just makes us a better team. We're able to get in transition a lot better and get more possessions.''