Dajuan Coleman improving on poor scoring performance in the post

first_imgAll Jim Boeheim wanted to see from Dajuan Coleman was “something,” anything that resembled life from the fifth-year senior. Boeheim has reiterated that the five contributing newcomers still need to adapt to the way SU operates, but Coleman doesn’t have that excuse.After the Orange’s 64-50 loss to South Carolina last Saturday, a game in which Coleman scored four points and committed two fouls in 15 minutes, Boeheim was curt about one of his most senior players.“He gave up two easy jump shots right in the lane,” the SU head coach said. “It’s his responsibility. He knows that … nowhere to be found.”While Coleman and the rest of the Syracuse frontcourt have a ways to go on the defensive end, it was the 6-foot-9, 258-pounder who flashed some of the most promising offensive signs in Tuesday’s 77-60 loss to No. 17 Wisconsin, with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Aside from Tyler Lydon, who thrives more on the perimeter, SU lacks a presence down low. Heading into a 4 p.m. matchup on Saturday against North Florida (3-6), No. 22 Syracuse (4-2) has a chance to fix itself on the offensive end down low, just as Coleman has already started to do.“We got the ball to him more than we usually do,” sophomore point guard Frank Howard said. “He was productive with it, so we’re going to continue to feed him and get him going.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTwenty-five seconds into the game against the Badgers, Coleman received a bounce pass above the low block from Tyler Roberson. Coleman took one power dribble to his left, caught Ethan Happ with a pump fake and banked in the first two points of the game.Coleman set the foundation for his offensive resurrection Tuesday, and it earned him twice as much playing time three days after his offensive dud. In 30 minutes, Coleman took advantage of mismatches down low. He backed down Happ twice in the opening five minutes before scoring and even canned a mid-range jumper later to diversify his scoring arsenal.Over the past season-plus, Coleman has often put the ball on the floor more than necessary, especially when he’s among a swarm of defenders in the lane. That, and an excessive number of pump fakes, have restricted his ability to convert around the rim.Coleman was efficient in his moves to the hoop Tuesday, finally using his frame to muscle his way to the basket and finish.Boeheim still insists Lydon is more effective offensively at center even though he is more of a perimeter threat. But when Coleman and Paschal Chukwu struggle to produce offensively, Syracuse has no other choice than to slide the sophomore to the five spot. With Coleman’s double-digit scoring outing, SU may be able to keep Coleman at center with hopes of getting offensive production, especially against upcoming weaker opponents. “We understand that we could lose any game,” Coleman said last Saturday. “From here on out I think we’ll be better.”Coleman made the biggest jump from Saturday’s loss to Tuesday’s. Now the rest of the team has the opportunity to do the same against North Florida, ranked 244th in the country by Kenpom.com. Coleman’s struggles can no longer be attributed to his restructured knees. Nor can his inexperience, because he boasts the most experience for Syracuse. Now it’s about getting the ball in the bucket, which Coleman has to do if the Orange’s struggling frontcourt has any chance of keeping up.“We’re going to have games like this,” Coleman said Tuesday. “It’s how we bounce back though.” Comments Published on December 1, 2016 at 10:06 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img