Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All Hands on Deck

It's a big day of news in the world of Syracuse basketball. Mike Waters reports that Freshman Center Sean Williams will not redshirt, and confirms that Josh Wright is gone from the team for good. In regards to Wright, that basically confirms what I heard a few days ago, that Josh just didn't show up for practice all week and never bothered to tell anyone. According to Boeheim, apparently he didn't even take his finals.....

Axe ponders life after devo, saying Paul Harris at the 2 "gives him the willies."

Cuse Country sees the silver lining of the Devendorf injury, and it's a view I believe Boss will endorse.

Before the season began (but after the mid summer loss of Rautins), the depth chart projected out something like this:

Center - Arinze, Rick Jackson, Sean Williams (redshirt)
PF - Donte Greene, Kristof Ongenaet, Devin Brennan McBride
SF - Paul Harris, KO
SG - Eric Devendorf, Scoop Jardine
PG - Jonny Flynn, Josh Wright

Now it's basically:

Center - Arinze, Sean Williams
PF - Rick Jackson, KO
SF - Donte Greene, random walk on, Fred the Janitor
SG - Paul Harris, Scoop Jardine
PG - Jonny Flynn, walk on Justin Thomas, Otto the Orange

Keys to Making this Work

Zone, Zone and More Zone. Obviously, with 8 scholarship players, one of which (Sean Williams) barely played in high school, avoiding foul trouble is paramount, and that means one thing - a whole lot of 2-3 zone. While I personally was getting tired of the damn thing, everyone with half a brain has to agree that now it's the only way to go. It allows you to keep your players on the floor, keep your big men out of foul trouble and keep your starters on the floor. It also allows guys to get a little rest from time to time, all of which will be desperately needed.

Cleaning the Glass. Regardless of whether Jackson or Jardine steps into the starting lineup, Paul Harris is going to see extended minutes at the 2, and that means he'll be at the top of the zone. On paper, you wouldn't expect a rebounding drop off from moving a 6'3" from the baseline and bringing in a 6'9" guy to take his place - but that very well could happen. Whoever is in the game must commit to crashing the boards, because Paul is going to have a harder time tracking down the rock from the top of the key. Guys aren't going to be able to stand around and watch Harris destroy people on his way to the ball.

Avoid the Chills. Devo has a streaky jumper, but when it was on, he was dangerous from just about anywhere and forced teams go guard Syracuse 20 feet from the hoop. Jardine, Harris and Jackson aren't about to do Larry Bird imitations anytime soon, meaning that Greene and Flynn have to avoid prolonged shoot slumps from the perimeter. If there are days when they are both cold, those games are going to be tough to watch. Right now, they are the only two guys on the team the opposition has to respect from beyond the arc.

Run, Run, Run. Not necessarily during games, but in practice - the starters better be in shape, because they're not coming out of the game.

Feed the Beasts. Both Arinze and Jackson have shown they can score down low - it's time to pound the rock to both of the big fellas. There are going to be games where, if both guys get going, SU can over power the opposition down low. With Devo gone, that means there are more shots to go around, these two guys should get them.

The latest incarnation of the Syracuse Orange takes the floor tonight, it should be interesting to see how they respond.

1 comment:

josh from cuse country said...

Excellent points about the zone and the rebounding. Maybe Sean Williams will be able to contribute along the lines of Etan Thomas freshman year -- block some shots in the middle of the zone, grab a couple of rebounds, commit a dozen fouls and stay out of everyone's way on offense.