Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm No. 19 Syracuse (1-0) coasted to an, 83-55, season-opening win against Colgate (0-1) in the Carrier Dome on Friday. The visitors never led after the game’s first few minutes, and Syracuse stretched its lead to as wide as 35 points.With the first chapter of the season now written, here’s three takeaways from the game.Plugged inThe season-opening tipoff floated into Syracuse’s hands, and finished in Tyler Roberson’s as he slammed down SU’s first points of the season. The Carrier Dome erupted, and did so Roberson all night in an 18-point effort against the Raiders.The noise reached a crescendo with just under eight minutes left in the first half, as John Gillon heaved an alley-oop from behind the arc. Under the rim, Roberson elevated in concert with the ball and shoved down his 10th points of the game, all coming at the rim. Roberson’s acrobatics sparked a 71- second, three-possession span in which he accounted for all of the Orange’s points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter the alley-oop, Tyler Lydon bounced a pass across the lane that Roberson poured in with little resistance. Gillon found Roberson again to double-up on Colgate, staking Syracuse to a 30-15 lead.Amid a flurry of lineup and roster changes leading up to the season opener, the senior forward’s job was never in jeopardy. Friday night illustrated why that was. Roberson emerged early as Syracuse’s best presence inside. Dajuan Coleman, Paschal Chukwu and Lydon shuttled in and out of the center position all game, but Roberson’s 24-minutes (16 in the first half) ensured he was there to pick up any slack inside the zone.Pointing the right directionWhen Syracuse reeled in Gillon from Colorado State this offseason, it created significant roster balance at the point guard position. SU complemented Frank Howard’s pass-first skillset with a speedy, offensively capable option to run the offense. In a season-opening blowout, the balance couldn’t have been any more evident.The points guards combined for 24 points, 4-of-5 shooting from 3, 15 assists, three turnovers, six rebounds and five steals. Howard shined with a career-high 11 points and nine assists. Not to mention that Howard’s three 3-pointers surpassed his total of two from year. The sophomore jumpstarted the offense, assisting on his team’s first four baskets of the game.His pass-happy antics were on full display, highlighted by a mid-air, cross-body pass to Roberson at the start of the second half. Roberson smothered the pass on the other side of the block and came down with another dunk.Both Gillon and Howard excelled in a mid-game lineup that featured both point guards on the floor. It was a configuration Boeheim hinted he might use after Tuesday’s exhibition. On the second possession with both point guards on the floor, Gillon found Howard for an open 3. Thirty seconds later, Howard threaded one to Gillon for a 3.It didn’t matter who was quarterbacking the offense on Friday. Whoever it was, it worked.Silent nightIt was another quiet night for Lydon on the scoreboard. The sophomore was expected to anchor the offense with Andrew White, but he dropped in only two points and shot 1-for-6. In three games, including two exhibitions, Lydon has yet to make a 3-pointer.There’s little cause for concern about SU’s most versatile player on Nov. 11, but if nothing else, it’s intriguing to see where the Orange’s offense has come from. White, Roberson, Gillon and Howard ensured Lydon’s inefficiency didn’t matter. He’s proved valuable on the other side of the ball, moonlighting as the team’s center when Coleman and Chukwu are benched.Lydon was one of three players with six rebounds, and led both teams with three blocks. Comments
Rob Kearney returns at full back while Luke Fitzgerald is on the wing.Luke McGrath partners Ian Madigan in the half backs. It’s all change in the front row as Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross all come in while Rhys Ruddock captains Leinster from the back row alongside Josh van der Flier, who will make his twelfth start of the season, and Jordi Murphy, who starts at number 8. Leinster lead the Pro 12 but are level on points with Connacht who host Munster on Saturday.