Ryan MacCammon | Staff PhotographerMen's Basketball
Fair remains steady presence for Syracuse in loss to Georgetown
As the 3-pointers kept flying — and missing — C.J. Fair’s stat line held true. The Orange’s version of Mr. Consistent lived up to his name once again.
Thirteen points, seven rebounds, 50 percent shooting from the field.
Yet he only took 10 shots, three fewer than Brandon Triche and four fewer than James Southerland, who were too excited by the record crowd in the Carrier Dome to realize their poor shot selection.
“I just thought the game got away from us early,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I thought we had an opportunity. We had some open looks, and I thought we took a couple long 3s. Offensively we just didn’t play well enough, and that’s been something that’s hurt us in our losses.
Syracuse fell to Georgetown 57-46 on Saturday in what turned out to be the team’s worst offensive performance in the Carrier Dome since 2004. A lack of offensive balance — Fair was once again the only reliable option — led to forced 3-pointers that deflated the team and the crowd with each successive miss.
The Orange shot 4-for-20 from 3-point range against the Hoyas, falling short once again from beyond the arc in what has become a glaring deficiency in Big East play.
“It is what it is,” Fair said. “If you’re a confident 3-point shooter and you have a little space, you’re going to shoot it no matter where you’re really at on the court. James (Southerland) made a deep 3. I guess that encouraged him to shoot a couple more.”
Fair played a typically strong game against the Hoyas, relying on his offense inside the arc as opposed to outside it. He attempted just a single 3 — and missed — but shot 5-for-9 from the field outside of that shot.
His points came on patented left-handed floaters and mid-range jumpers, which are exactly the type of shots that loosen up a zone defense. Score inside and the zone must collapse, which creates openings for outside shooters.
But on Saturday those outside shooters missed — badly. Southerland shot 3-for-9, Triche 1-for-7 and Carter-Williams 0-for-2 from 3-point range.
It meant Fair was left alone on the interior, craving the ball against the Hoyas’ defense, but struggling to receive it.
“Everybody wants the ball more, but it’s hard to get the ball frequently against a zone, Fair said. “They showed a lot of attention to me, because as far as on offense, we want to get it inside out. I think they played the zone well. They played really solid defense.”
And the 13 offensive rebounds Syracuse grabbed — there were plenty of missed shots to go after — translated into only five second-chance points. When Fair wasn’t shooting, the shots didn’t go in. And no one was there for putbacks.
Fair needed more help, but on Saturday there was none.
“We had all the opportunities in the world to score the ball,” Triche said. “We were just missing.”
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