Throughout most of the season, the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange have asked sophomore forward James Southerland to come off the bench, hit a couple open three-pointers and snag a few rebounds to help the Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East) to victory. Monday night will be different because the 6-foot-8 shooter will make his first collegiate start by filling in for SU leading scorer, junior forward Kris Joseph, in the much anticipated Big East Conference match up against No. 5/4 Pittsburgh Panthers (17-1, 5-0) at the Petersen Events Center.
Joseph, who suffered a head injury during Saturday's victory against visiting Cincinnati Bearcats, was ruled out by school officials on Sunday. His loss wasn't felt two days ago when the Orange easily defeated the AP polls No. 25-ranked Bearcats, 67-52. However, Pitt, which has won 12 of the last 15 meetings against Syracuse, is a lot more talented and more physical than Cincy (16-2, 3-2). Joseph's versatility to go both inside and outside -- he's averaging 14.6 points-per game and is second in the team in rebounding (5.2 per game) -- has helped Syracuse create difficult match ups for opponents on both offense and defense.
With Southerland, Syracuse gets a forward who adds a couple inches of length at the top of a very stout 2-3 zone. Also, though Southerland may not be as polished of a scorer as Joseph, the second-year player has shown the ability to be a spark on both offense and defense. But that's off the bench, not on the floor when tip off is taking place. Time to see what Southerland is made of.
|2010 - James Southerland||14||15.9||2.4||5.5||42.9||1.1||3.2||35.6||0.1||0.3||50.0||0.6||2.4||2.9||0.4||0.2||0.7||0.8||1.6||6.0|