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“He’s very strong, and when you’re a strong guard and you’re 6-4, it means you can defend, you can rebound, you can get to the basket. Even with the bumping, you’re able to finish. More importantly, his shot is just coming along. He really can shoot the ball from the outside.”

Boeheim figures Triche is right on schedule as the Orange prepare to host Rutgers (13-12, 4-9) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome.

“It takes a year for most college players to get accustomed to what the game’s about,” Boeheim said. “He had a solid freshman year. He’s making the normal progression. It takes most kids into their sophomore year at least to get comfortable. I think Brandon is ahead of schedule.”

So, too, does Bob McKenney, Triche’s high school coach.

“I think he’s had a great year. People are starting now to see just what he’s capable of,” McKenney said. “Early, when he was taking a lot of criticism, he was doing the right thing but not scoring. His nature has always been to take good shots.

“He was a great point guard for us and still scored 20 a game. If he wanted to score 40 a game, he had the ability and we would have let him _ he was that good.”