Elijah Hughes sat in the middle of the Syracuse locker room with his right wrist taped. Bourama Sidibe, in his own locker a few feet away, had bags of ice attached to his right knee and left ankle. Perpendicular to both of them was Marek Dolezaj, shoulders off-kilter, slouching to his left with his right shoulder wrapped.
As they scattered, with a similar dejected look on their faces after a third-straight defeat, they wore the scars of a rebounding battle, that, for once, didn’t cost Syracuse the contest.
“I think we did quite a decent job today,” Dolezaj said, “but we need to run faster.”
Facing a third-straight frontcourt that’s bigger and more polished than SU’s, Syracuse improved on the glass. In the midst of a historically bad start, SU’s first three losses could be attributed to poor interior play. They averaged 18 fewer rebounds than their opponents, often losing the possession battle too. But, against Iowa (6-2) in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on ESPN, Syracuse (4-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) provided an outlier. Coaches provided a pregame directive to limit the rebounding margin. While the Hawkeyes won the battle on the glass 37-36, they had to turn to shooting or tough defense to …read more
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