James Southerland scored 18 points, Michael Carter-Williams had 16 points and seven assists, and No. 9 Syracuse beat Division II Pace 99-63 in an exhibition game on Thursday night.
The Orange began with a starting lineup of Carter-Williams, a sophomore, and senior Brandon Triche at guard, sophomore Rakeem Christmas and junior C.J. Fair at forward, and freshman DaJuan Coleman at center. Guard Trevor Cooney, who redshirted as a freshman last season, did not play. He's recovering from a tonsillectomy.
Fair finished with 16 points, backup center Baye Moussa Keita had 14, Triche and Coleman both had 11. Christmas had seven points and five blocks, and freshman Jerami Grant had six points.
Jonathan Merceus had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Pace and David Eismeier had 14, all in the second half.
Coach Jim Boeheim, soon to be 68 and just 10 wins shy of 900, begins his 37th year when the Orange open the season at San Diego State on Nov. 9 before returning home to face Wagner nine days later.
The tallest players in Pace's three-guard starting lineup were 6-foot-6 forwards Keon Williams and Merceus. No surprise that every time the Setters tried to drive the baseline they were met by the long arms of the Orange. Syracuse registered six blocks in the first 10 minutes of play, three by Coleman, and finished with 14.
Williams scored the first basket of the game, then Syracuse reeled off 16 straight points as the Orange hit nine of their first 10 shots. Carter-Williams and Fair both converted a three-point play and hit a 3 to key the spurt.
Jaylen Mann's 3-pointer from the wing at 12:30 cut the Syracuse lead to 20-7 and was the first basket for the Setters since Williams scored in the opening minute.
The Orange responded with a 10-0 run keyed by three-point plays by Coleman and Triche, and Syracuse went into the locker room with a 55-29 lead.
The Orange had to replace their top four players from last season's team, which won a school-record 34 games and lost only three. Gone are top scorer Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, Big East sixth man of the year Dion Waiters, and big man Fab Melo, defensive player of the year in the Big East in 2011-12. The core four averaged 41.2 points on a team that averaged 74.1 and won by an average margin of 13.1.
On this night, they weren't missed. Syracuse shot 75 percent (21 of 28), hitting 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, and registered 14 assists in the first half. Syracuse finished 37 of 64 (57.8 percent) and had 23 assists.