Frank Howard racks up career-high 13 assists in Syracuse’s 6-point win over North Florida

September 16, 2020 | By admin | Filed in: fofabvlic.

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After Syracuse lost its first game of the season to South Carolina, SU head coach Jim Boeheim ripped his point guards for not getting into the lane enough. Their inability to do so handicapped an offense that scored a meager 50 points and lost by 14 to a then-unranked Gamecocks team.On Saturday, one of Syracuse’s floor generals, Frank Howard, delivered on exactly what the head coach pleaded for a week ago after Tuesday’s loss to Wisconsin. The sophomore sliced up North Florida’s zone to the tune of a career-high 13 assists.Howard logged his second career double-double with 10 points and 13 helpers. Boeheim complimented Howard’s defense postgame, but it was the point guard’s ability to create space for others that allowed Syracuse’s offense to flow for most of the No. 22 Orange’s (5-2) 77-71 win over North Florida (3-7) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday evening.“Frank’s a big key,” Boeheim said. “He was really, really good tonight.”Long gone are the days when Boeheim threatens to remove Howard from the game if he takes “another 10-foot floater,” as he did once last season. Howard gained muscle in the offseason and fine tuned his shot. Those have helped him round out a repertoire that always included a knack for threading the most effective pass.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Saturday, he effectively drew defenders to him before kicking to a teammate who had more space to operate than he did. On SU’s first two buckets of the game, both 3-pointers by Andrew White, Howard grabbed a rebound and found White on the wing in transition before quickly swinging the ball to White in the left corner for a 3 on the next possession.“I told him, ‘It’s a zone, this is where I’m gonna be,” White said. “You swing it, I’ll get your assists up tonight.”Howard tallied seven assists by halftime, the last of which came on a drive-and-kick to Tyler Lydon, who drilled a 3 with five seconds left. It took less than eight minutes before Howard eclipsed his previous career best of 11 assists. The 12th came on a routine look to Tyus Battle, who hit the ensuing 3-pointer to put Syracuse up 24.“He did a good job of kind of gapping the zone because a lot of time you have an instinct to just swing the ball and he was able to kind of penetrate in, get some quick outs and quick reversals,” White said. “I think that’s what made him have such a great assist game tonight.”The Orange’s bigs, aside from Dajuan Coleman, struggled to score again on Saturday, especially under the basket. Howard has shown the ability to whip one-handed passes to the low post through the top of a defense, namely to Tyler Roberson in past games, but he and the rest of the SU frontcourt are missing easy layups and short floaters near the rim.Howard instead found shooters on the perimeter, choosing to pass the ball out instead of driving heading toward the rim. It created space for a Syracuse offense that has stagnated when its point guards can’t penetrate. Howard’s ability to create space helped the Orange reverse its offensive fortunes Saturday.“Just getting in the paint is big for us,” Howard said. “… It’s kind of how our offense operates.” Comments Published on December 3, 2016 at 8:38 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidmanlast_img

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