Malachi Richardson highlights Syracuse’s scrimmage win over Florida Southern

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm Contact Jesse: | @dougherty_jesse Malachi Richardson knocked down a corner 3 and barely took the time to watch it fall through the net.Instead, the freshman sprinted down the sideline toward his spot on the wing of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Florida Southern tried to beat the Orange down the floor with an outlet pass in Richardson’s direction, and he turned like a cornerback around half court before stabbing it out of the air with one hand. Then he flicked a pass to Trevor Cooney who converted a layup in traffic and drew a foul.“That’s something we work on in practice, made layups, made shots we have to sprint back and get back to our spot in the zone,” Richardson said. “And it just so happened that my man was streaking down the floor and I was able to catch up to the ball.”After Cooney made the ensuing free throw, Syracuse’s lead ballooned to 34 points with just over three minutes left in the first half. Richardson took two skips toward the the Orange bench holding a clenched fist against his chest. It was a complete play that summed up a complete performance for Richardson, which highlighted SU’s 96-54 scrimmage win over Florida Southern in the Carrier Dome on Sunday.Richardson, after scoring 15 points in the first half, finished with a team-high 18 points shooting 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3. He also grabbed six rebounds, three steals and dished out two assists.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s playing. He’s just playing,” SU point guard Michael Gbinije said. “He’s not thinking out there and I think that’s most of the battle for the freshman. Just being able, in his position, instinctually go out there and do his thing. I think it’s helping us.”Like Le Moyne, Syracuse’s first exhibition opponent, the Division II Moccasins had a hard time competing with the Orange on both ends of the floor. That led to a lot of positives for SU, including another good team performance from 3, active defense turning into effective offense and encouraging games from Kaleb Joseph and Tyler Roberson.And while it all should be tempered heading into the season opener against Lehigh on Friday, Richardson has now hinted, in back-to-back scrimmages, at a strong season ahead.Against Le Moyne on Monday, Richardson finished with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting and went 3-of-8 from 3. He didn’t force any shots on Sunday and, in turn, added efficiency to an already impressive repertoire. He also rebounded well against a front court that featured 6-foot-11, 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-6 players. His ability to start the fast break off steals and rebounds, just a footnote of his game, was also on display.The official start of Richardson’s college career is five days away and he, at the very least, looks ready to be an integral part of the Syracuse offense.“It’s awesome playing with Trevor and Mike because they open up the floor so much for me,” Richardson said. “In high school I was always the focal point and teams would collapse on me a lot more. But now it’s just like I’m almost the third option with Trevor and Gbinije being the stars.” Commentslast_img read more