Friday, February 1, 2008

Guest Preview: Syracuse

The blogger over at Cuseadelphia and I decided to "exchange" previews. I gave him a look at the Wildcats, and he was kind enough to share this look at Syracuse with me. Enjoy.

Meet the Orange:

* Point Guard Jonny Flynn is a freshman averaging 15 points a game and 5 assists. Flynn started to step up after the Devendorf injury, but his scoring pace has slowed. He’s got 18 points in his last two games combined after scoring 20+ three straight games.

* Shooting Guard Scoop Jardine was filling in for Eric Devendorf. He’s been suspended for his role in a stolen food card scandal.

* Small Forward Paul Harris is a sophomore and an absolute monster on the glass. Harris is only about 6’4’’ but averages 8.9 rebounds a game. He’s a ferocious competitor and the best all around player on the team. He admitted he quit on the team during the Villanova game, but all has been forgiven and has played great since. Harris might be under the weather still come Saturday. He played with the flu Wednesday at Depaul.

* Power Forward Donte’ Greene is a freshman and the best scorer on this team since Carmelo Anthony. He’ll hit shots from anywhere on the court. He leads the team in scoring at 18.4 per. A little more consistency from Greene and he could put up 25+ a game. Greene can get trigger happy which will lead to a lot of bad shots.

* Center Arinze Onuaku (basic pronunciation: A-rinse-a On-ew-ak-ew) is a redshirt sophomore who has great low post moves, but isn’t a great defender and an okay rebounder. Onuaku is coming off a monster game at DePaul. He hit 10 of 13 shots for 22 points. Onuaku is 10th in the country in effective field goal percentage and first in the Big East.

* Kristof Ongenaet (On-ge-net) is a Belgian JUCO transfer. He’ll be the guy on the floor diving for the ball with the funny hair. He’s a great rebounder, but not much of a scorer. He’s shown a great reverse layup.

* Off the bench Syracuse plays just one player: Freshman PF Rick Jackson who has a knack for blocking shots and a nice lefty baby hook. Walk on Justin Thomas might see two minutes off the bench, but barring disaster, Syracuse will only play six players.

What Syracuse Does Best:

* Syracuse used to push the ball, but without depth they’ve slowed things down.

* The slower tempo has hurt the offense. Their efficiency has dropped from about 20th to 47th, but their defense has been much better. Syracuse was around 100th all year, but quickly has moved up to 51st in defensive efficiency.

* S.U. is 17th in the country in two point field goal percentage at 54.3%. On a good night this team won’t take more than 10 three pointers unless Donte’ Greene gets hot early.

* The Orange also pounds the offensive glass as they are 14th in the country in rebounding their misses, collecting 40% of the rebounds on offense.

How to Beat Syracuse:

* Shoot threes and lots of them. The 2-3 zone is susceptible to the three point shot, something Villanova should be able to do with their guard heavy lineup.

* Speed the tempo up. ‘Nova won the first game when the tempo sped up. Syracuse has no depth and will become tired after awhile.

* Double team Arinze Onuaku down low. Cincinnati was the first team to do it and they beat Syracuse beat them pretty easily.

* Get them in foul trouble. With just six players, Syracuse is in big time trouble if multiple players pick up cheap fouls. Villanova got S.U. in foul trouble early and it killed Syracuse late. During the Orange’s two game winning streak, the team managed to stay out of foul trouble and the best players could stay out on the court.

No comments: