Southerland's return a big lift for Orange
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — About an hour before Syracuse tipped off against St. John's on Sunday, Orange senior forward James Southerland emerged from the locker room for warmups for the first time in a month.
That's all it took for Syracuse (20-3, 8-2 Big East) to become a bona fide player again.
In this topsy-turvy college basketball season, Syracuse has been a mainstay in the top 10, even without Southerland, who missed six games because of an academic issue that was resolved on Friday.
With Southerland ineligible and 6-foot-9, 288-pound freshman Dajuan Coleman injured two weeks later, coach Jim Boeheim's roster was down to seven scholarship players. The Orange struggled offensively without Southerland, its best outside shooter, going 4-2.
In his first stint on the floor Sunday, Southerland committed a turnover as soon as he touched the ball, then missed all four shots he attempted in the first half. He did convert two free throws before halftime.
“The free throws got me going,” said Southerland. “I just came out (in the second half) and fired.”
Southerland was 4 of 6 in the second half, 3 for 5 from long range, as Syracuse pulled away to a 77-58 win its 13-point lead was cut to five.
The Orange, which had been shooting a woeful 30 percent on 3-pointers in Big East play, finished 10 of 22 (45.5 percent). Southerland hit consecutive 3s in a span of just over a minute to give Syracuse a double-digit lead midway in the second half.
“It shows you the type of team we have,” guard Brandon Triche said. “Emotionally, we were much more confident getting an extra scorer. He's going to open it up for everybody else.”
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.