Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Cuse -- Johnnies & Defense

by Ray Floriani

NEW YORK CITY -- St.John's has battled tough even in games lost this season. Last night at Madison Square Garden it was a different story as Syracuse dominated 87-58

The numbers of note:

St. John's72812644

Coach Jim Boehem said his Syracuse club, "defended the first half as well as they have all season." He could be on the money. And I will not argue with a coach who earned his 31st twenty win season with last night's victory. The numbers at the half with the Orange out front 39-18

St. John's33553031

You can see the Orange were dominant defensively the first twenty minutes. St.John's could not solves Syracuse's trademark 2-3 zone. The zone also forced turnovers, as noted, and created transition opportunities. Syracuse scored 14 points off turnovers the first half. For the game Syracuse had 56 points in the paint and shared the ball with assists on 25 of their 37 field goals. The backcourt of Jonny Flynn (game high 21 points, 8 assists) and Eric Devendorf (17 points, 6 assists) both scored and handed out passes. That final TO rate of 26% for Syracuse was a sore spot but the eFG mark of 71 % made up for the sins (it is Ash Wednesday as I write this) of "turnoveritis". St.John's fell to 4-11 in conference while Syracuse improved to 8-7.

In post game press conference Boeheim discussed his team's NCAA tournament prospects. "We lost to five teams in the top twelve," Boeheim said. "Now if you win nine of ten against unranked teams are you good? Not necessarily. I think the NCAA selection committee should look at your entire season not just how you finish up." Good points indeed.

No comments: