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Three Ways To Beat The Orange, Or Three Ways To Lose To 'Cuse

Matt from The Orange Report, a great Syracuse blog, contacted me the other day. I thought it would be good to find out even more about the Orange, seeing that we can never have enough.

He has given us three ways Syracuse can beat ASU, and in the same vein, three ways to beat the Orange. In return, I have done the opposite for his blog, highlighting our strengths and weaknesses for the world to see.

Hopefully Jim Boeheim doesn't read it...

Three Ways Syracuse Can Beat ASU

1. Get Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson involved early.

Without a doubt, Syracuse is a different team when their two big men are producing. In the first round against Stephen F Austin, the duo combined for 16 of the first 27 points and the Orange never looked back. Both are extremely athletic for their size and are excellent finishers near the rim (Onuaku is 7th in the nation in FG% at 66%), but both are very streaky and have been known to disappear on the court. Onuaku has scored in double-figures in 23 games and the Orange are 21-2 in those contests. Getting the big guys involved early can help free up the shooters and really make the Orange a dangerous offensive team.

2. Knock Down Some Threes

Syracuse has two very good outside shooters in Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf, and a third (Jonny Flynn) who can hit the open trey with some regularity. When Syracuse hits their outside shots they can quickly turn a deficit into a lead and a lead into a blowout. Knocking down the open looks against the ASU zone will be a key to an Orange victory. After shooting 2-16 against SFA, the Syracuse shooters will look to bounce back in a big way in this game.

3. Score, Score, Score!

This might be the most obvious statement ever, but when the Orange score, they win. When Cuse hits the 80 point mark they are 18-3. When they miss it, they are 9-6. This won't be an easy task against ASU, who only gives up 60 points per game. But if the Orange want to win they'll need to get out in transition and put points on the board.

Three Ways To Beat Syracuse

1. Crash The Offensive Glass

As you know, one of the problems with the 2-3 zone is that it allows opponents an inordinate number of offensive rebounds. Syracuse isn't immune to this. While the 2-3 zone creates a lot of misses (Syracuse opponents have an effective FG% of 46.2%, ranking the Orange defense 46th in the country in that department), it also creates a lot of second chance opportunities (Syracuse opponents have an offensive rebound percentage of 35.5%, ranking the Orange d 274th in the country). If ASU can hit the boards and get some putbacks, they can cause great problems for the Orange.

-stats from

2. Foul Our Big Guys

Arinze Onuaku FT shooting since starting Big East play: 13-72 (18.05%). Rick Jackson seems like Rick Barry by comparison at 50% for the season. It has gotten so bad that Onuaku has to sit at the end of any close game because he is too much of a liability. If you have fouls to give and one of these two is on the floor, hack away.

3. Prevent The Fast Break

One thing is true about Jonny Flynn: he is fast. He is one of the quickest guards the Orange have ever had and he likes to get out and run. Add to that Eric Devendorf who also likes to push the ball and the Syracuse fast break can give opponents fits. Put pressure on the ball and get back and they can be contained (somewhat).

Thanks for the good stuff, Matt! I am faxing Herb Sendek the scouting report presently.