The Syracuse basketball team lives and dies with their point guard play. So far this season that has very much been the case.
The Syracuse basketball squad finally got a much needed statement win yesterday defeating No. 6 Florida State 82-72, thanks in large part to a dominant performance from John Gillon. The fifth-year transfer from Colorado State finished the game with 21 points, 11 assists, and an incredible 13-of-14 from the line.
After a dominant first half in which Syracuse saw themselves up by 18 points, Florida State stormed back, and cut the lead to two with under seven minutes to play.
It seemed as if Syracuse was about to let Florida State off the hook, until John Gillon took over the game. He scored Syracuse’s last 10 points. Ice in his veins, he hit 10 free throws in the final three minutes.
Gillon used screens and shifty dribble moves to get good looks from outside and to drive through the lane to the basket. With just over a minute left, Gillon hit a driving lay-up to put the Orange up 4, and seal the deal.
Throughout the second half, Gillon’s hustle created turnovers at both ends of the court. The 2-3 zone is not effective without strong guard play. Today the defense created 15 turnovers. He single handedly took control of the game and kept Syracuse ahead.
During his postgame presser, when asked about Florida State’s second half surge, Gillon quickly interrupted the reporter and said “they’re not top 10 for no reason. I knew they were gonna come back and make a push, so I had to do everything I could as the point guard to stop their momentum and make plays for us”.
When asked about his success at the free throw line today, Gillon answered by saying “ I’ve been preparing for moments like that my entire life, and I’m glad that they finally paid off”. Putting in the extra effort to get to loose balls and make the right pass, Gillon displayed his leadership Saturday. His hustle was contagious. Gillon played his best game of the season today.
Jim Boeheim has been waiting for a point guard to take control of the team and run the offense. John Gillon and Frank Howard have alternated at the point guard position this season.
Each has had the opportunity to start and run the offense. Prior to today’s game the team was 12-9 and off to the worst start in Boeheim’s 41 years. Tyler Lydon, Andrew White and Tyus Battle were playing well, but could not carry the team.
The 2-3 zone was inept at preventing scoring from inside and outside the paint. Syracuse was being out-rebounded by almost every team. John Gillon took over the game and the team. When John Gillon is playing his game, The Orange will never run out of juice.
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