Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about Cornell

first_img Published on December 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse enters its matchup against Cornell having lost five of its last eight games. The Orange (7-5) takes on the Big Red (3-8) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. The contest is SU’s final nonconference game before beginning Atlantic Coast Conference play on Jan. 1 at Boston College.Here’s everything you need to know about Cornell.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 90-31Last time they played: Last season, the Orange defeated Cornell, 67-46, on Dec. 19, 2015. SU only led by four at halftime, but pulled away by outscoring the Big Red by 17 after the break. Tyler Roberson and Malachi Richardson led SU with 15 points apiece while Roberson rounded out his performance with 12 boards. Syracuse outrebounded Cornell, 48-27, and finished with 17 second-chance points compared to the Big Red’s four. Michael Gbinije, while scoring 12 points, also pitched in as a distributor with eight assists.The Cornell report: The Big Red ranks 244th of 351 Division I teams, according to Kenpom.com. Cornell has struggled this season, allowing opponents to shoot 44.9 percent from the field and getting outscored 431-360 in the first half of games. Three Big Red players average more than 10 points: Sophomore guard Matt Morgan (19.3), sophomore forward Stone Gettings (14.2) and senior guard Robert Hatter (11.6). Against Syracuse last season, Hatter scored 14 and was the only Cornell player in double digits. The Big Red doesn’t have any dangerous rebounding threats as Gettings and Hatter are tied for the team lead with 5.3 boards per game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHow Cornell beats Syracuse: The Big Red would need big-time performances from its top three scorers to keep pace with the Orange, which only allows 64.9 points per game. SU has also faced issues when it’s been outrebounded and outscored in the paint. On paper, Cornell doesn’t pose much of a problem there, a big part of why Syracuse is favored in the game by 18, per Kenpom. While the Orange has had a rocky stretch recently, the Big Red would still need a near-perfect performance to upend SU.Stat to know: 75.2 inches — Cornell’s average height, per Kenpom, which ranks 340th in the country. Syracuse’s average height of 79 inches ranks sixth nationally. The Orange is 5-1 when it wins the rebounding battle.Player to watch: Robert Hatter, guard, No. 5While the Big Red hasn’t beaten SU since 1968, the senior has a solid history against Syracuse. As a freshman in 2013, Hatter scored nine points in 14 minutes. He scored just three points his sophomore year but backed that up by 14 points last season. Hatter has made just 10 3-pointers this year, but his 57.1 shooting percentage on 2-pointers ranks 353rd in the country, per Kenpom. If he can score effectively driving to the basket, that could open up opportunities for teammates on the perimeter once Syracuse’s 2-3 zone begins to collapse. Commentslast_img read more