Syracuse, NY – Syracuse will have a new starting point when Orange goes to court against Seattle on Saturday.
Joe Girard III, Glens Falls's highest-rated freshman, won the promotion only two games of the season.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim announced the change following his team's 70-54 win over Colgate on Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.
"Joe will start Saturday," Boeheim said at a post-match news conference.
Orange lost 9-1 in the opening minutes of Wednesday's competition, but after Girard entered the lineup, the timing changed.
Girard stepped off the bench to propel Syracuse's listless offense against Colgate.
Although scoring just five points, Girard's presence on the court seemed to energize the attack, improving ball movement and creating openings for his teammates.
"I thought Joe did a good job just keeping up," said Boeheim. "He didn't score much. But I thought he did a good job first and foremost defensively, he got three steals from the ball. I thought he stabilized us a little. & # 39; & # 39;
Girard smiled at a question about his new initial assignment, but quoted Boeheim as saying that his approach would not change.
"I will play as usual," said Girard. "One of the things Boeheim has been preaching about lately is that it doesn't matter when you get in the game or how long you have been in the game. You just have to make an impact. That's one of the biggest things that has stuck with me throughout this process.
"Every time I'm on the court, I have to make some impact."
Girard will replace Jalen Carey, who fought at Syracuse games against Virginia and Colgate. On Wednesday, Carey scored just one point, missing both attempts at goal. He also turned the ball twice unassisted in his more than five minutes on court.
Against Colgate, Girard's impact was subtle. He demonstrated firmness with the ball as he sought to mount shooters such as Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim on the wings or center Bourama Sidibe in the painting. He finished the game with four assists and only one turnover in almost 19 minutes.
"He did it in transition and didn't get too deep into the painting," said Hughes, SU's most veteran player. "He really sees the floor well."
In high school, Girard was known for his scoring ability. He set 4,763 – a New York state record – for Glens Falls High School. He averaged 50 points per game as a junior and fell slightly from that mark as a senior.
He was not exactly seen as a prototypical owner.
But he has shown that the perception is wrong during the two SU screening games and the two regular season contests.
"In high school, I considered myself a guard, a player," said Girard. “People often see my statistics in high school and think I was just a marker. But what they didn't see was that I was also opening the guys there too. Three guys came to me and my cousins were open. & # 39; & # 39;
Brycen Goodine, Girard's classmate, also played well in his time at that time. Goodine scored two points, making his only chance at the game, and also gave two assists. He didn't rotate in 16 minutes.
For now, Girard is the starting point, although Boeheim does not extol him with praise.
"Joe did a good job of moving the ball better," said Boeheim. "He played well but can play much better."
Girard complained when asked if he had imagined starting so early. He replied that he envisioned winning the first two games of the season rather than being 1-1.
"Everyone wants to play as much as they can," said Girard. “Everyone wants to help the team as much as they can. Being a starting guard for Syracuse has been a dream of mine, but at the same time, it's my job to help the team keep winning. & # 39; & # 39;
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Mike Waters is a reporter for Syracuse Post-Standard and Syracuse.com. Have a comment or idea for a story? He can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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