Jim Boeheim knew he could rely on Rakeem Christmas for some lockdown defense. But he may not have expected his senior center to be Syracuse’s offensive leader, as well.
With Michael Gbinije inactive for undisclosed reasons, Christmas picked up the slack and scored a career-high 21 points in Syracuse’s season opener. It ignited the Orange to an easy 89-42 win against Kennesaw State on Friday night in the Carrier Dome.
“When he’s near the basket, he’s going to finish or get fouled,” Jim Boeheim said. “He’s a good offensive player and he’s gotten better every year.”