Why Hawkeyes can feel good about Syracuse matchup

Chad Leistikow

NEW YORK – If there was ever a good time to catch a Jim Boeheim-coached Syracuse team, Friday might be it.

Iowa (2-1) faces the No. 23 Orangemen (2-1) at 4 p.m. CT in Friday's third-place game of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden, about 17 hours after Syracuse was beaten handily by unranked California, 73-59.

Aaron White had Iowa going early against Texas, scoring 23 points in a 71-57 loss.

The game will be televised on ESPN2, a change from the original ESPNU listing.

Syracuse is not the same Syracuse that started 25-0 a year ago behind freshman point guard Tyler Ennis. A new freshman point guard, Kaleb Joseph, comes with hype but can be erratic.

"You can't lose the guys that we lost and come out and play the way we did last year," Boeheim said Thursday night.

The Orange have a quicker turnaround than Iowa, taking the floor at the "World's Most Famous Arena" 17 hours after the Cal loss.

Boeheim was asked: Can the Orange get things turned around in time for Iowa?

"There's nothing I can do before 5 o'clock (ET) tomorrow," Boeheim said to a chorus of media laughs.

He went on.

"We got spoiled a little bit last year. We had an unusual freshman point guard. They don't come around," Boeheim said. "That's a once in maybe a coach's career that you get a freshman that can play with that kind of understanding of the game. Kaleb's a very good freshman point guard, very talented, but he's got a lot to learn."

Iowa isn't exactly coming into this matchup on fire, but it can lean on a veteran group to bounce back from Thursday's 71-57 loss to Texas after it held at 12-point lead.

Also, if you're into score comparisons: Syracuse beat Hampton by 18, 65-47. Iowa beat Hampton by 34, 90-56.

"We had a five-point lead against Hampton with 10 minutes to go," Boeheim said. "Iowa beat them by 40."

Aaron White, who scored 23 points with eight rebounds against Texas, said Iowa players weren't downtrodden after the Texas loss.

"You never like to lose. At the same time, college basketball is great in that aspect. It's not even 24 hours until we play again, against another great team," White said. "… We've got to put this behind us pretty quickly."