Backup guards Kaleb Joseph and Frank Howard flash potential in win over Montana State

first_imgKaleb Joseph coasted by himself toward the rim before throwing down a one-handed dunk. He glided past the Syracuse bench on his way back down the court with one hand out after stretching the lead to 26. His first points in five contests brought life to a game, and a player, whose celebrations have mainly come from the sideline.“It definitely felt good to be in there for a little bit,” Joseph said.Along with Frank Howard, Joseph has composed half of a backcourt tandem stuck behind two fifth-year seniors. Combined, the pair averaged 16.2 minutes per game before Tuesday. Against Montana State, albeit with only five total points, the two saw nearly double the time, 31 minutes of action. They topped it off with eight assists to go along with defense atop the zone praised by interim head coach Mike Hopkins in Syracuse’s (9-3) 82-60 win over Montana State (5-7) in the Carrier Dome.“Those guys deserve it and they’re practicing hard, playing well,” Trevor Cooney said. “Especially in games like this … if they come in here and play well, I think it just gives them that boost.”Howard had scored in each of the three games prior to Tuesday. In his seven first-half minutes, he didn’t score but registered three assists. He ended up as one of three Syracuse players with five helpers as SU tallied a season-high 22.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJoseph chipped in three assists and added two steals, a branch of his game – defense – that suspended head coach Jim Boeheim has said earns the sophomore a spot on the bench. The Bobcats were often only able to beat Syracuse from beyond the arc, but those makes came mainly from the corners.“I thought Franklin Howard came into the game, him and Kaleb did a great job on the defensive end when they came in the backcourt together,” Hopkins said, “… when you see three of your players, Gbinije, Cooney and Howard with five assists, Kaleb Joseph with three in 13 minutes, that’s really unselfish play.”Howard’s lone bucket came on a drive to the hoop in the second half. He shielded off two defenders and scooped the ball off the backboard and in while drawing a foul.The Orange went 3-of-13 from behind the arc in the first half and Howard, who missed his only long-range attempt in the second half, had a decided approach knowing he’d man the point for a good chunk of the latter 20 minutes.“When my 3 ball isn’t falling,” Howard said, “it’s up to me to get to the rim and make up for it.”The Orange was able to showcase its backups against one of the weaker Division-I teams for a significant part of the second half and its second-string guards were at the forefront. And while its starters may go back to playing 38 minutes a game as conference play begins in just over a week, Syracuse’s backcourt depth flashed its potential when it could. Comments Related Stories Chinonso Obokoh turns in career game with 11 points against Montana StateSyracuse thrashes Montana State 82-60 after sluggish 1st halfGrade Syracuse’s performance against Montana State and vote for the player of the gameFast reaction: Syracuse thrives down low in blowout win over Montana StateSyracuse community reacts to win over Montana State Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on December 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img