Highly touted Oregon freshman Bol Bol shined at Madison Square Garden tonight, scoring 26 points on 11-17 shooting and adding 9 rebounds in the Ducks 80-65 win over Syracuse in the consolation game of the 2K Empire Classic.
Bol scored on an array of floaters inside the key, finesse moves around the basket, put-back ducks and layups, and even hit one of his two three-point attempts. The 7-foot-2 freshman also was poised and passed well in attacking the vaunted Syracuse zone.
|Bol Bol addresses the media after Oregon's win versus Syracuse.|
“[Bol’s] a unique player and he’s going to grow into a special player,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said after the game, “because you saw him shoot the three, you saw him handle it, he made some passes.”
“At 7’2, to do the things that he can do,” Altman continued, “you saw that soft touch, the jump hooks and that the ball just lays on the rim. He’s got a very soft touch for 7’2.”
Bol, ranked the fourth best high school prospect by Rivals.com (ahead of Zion Williamson), bounced back from a subpar performance Thursday night in a loss to Iowa.
“I think [tonight’s win] was really important because of what happened last night and we didn’t play too good,” the soft spoken Bol said. “After the game we were just focusing on the next game and playing really hard.”
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, while not happy after his team’s second loss in two nights, had high praise for Bol, as well.
“He’s a good player, he’s big, he’s tough. He’s very good. He’s a big problem out there,” Boeheim said. “He’s got a great touch. I think that’s the biggest thing, he has a great feel for the game. He’s a good passer and he’s a good scorer. He can shoot from the perimeter, he can shoot from the high post, that’s a great combination.”
Oregon moves to 3-1 and faces Green Bay on Tuesday.
Syracuse, who many predicted would be a top team in the ACC this season, drops to 2-2 after two subpar performances from team leaders Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett. The Orange will face a less formidable opponent in Colgate on Wednesday.
“The bottom line is we need to make some threes if we shoot 28 of them, if we’re going to be successful,” Boeheim said of his team’s 5-28 performance from beyond the arc.
Luckily for Cuse, there is a lot of season left for improvement. Scarier for the rest of the country, the same thing can be said of Bol Bol and the Oregon Ducks.