Rocking the -insert corporate name here- Dome...SU Hoops 2022-23

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Ok SU hoops fans, what are we looking at this year? What's the outlook?

Looks like Girard will move to the 2, which - while undersized there - should help him offensively. He's just not a great ball handler and struggles with quicker defenders. This will free him up to roam off the ball and get off his lightning-quick release. He can shoot in these circumstances, and I expect him to score a lot this year.

Edwards in the middle is nice. He's a good player, excellent defensively as a rim protector, and with an ever-improving offensive game. Until he got hurt last year, he had turned into a dominant force. MUST stay out of foul trouble though - he picks up fouls like nobody I've ever seen.

Hoping for big things from Benny Williams, who disappointed last year but at the same time showed flashes of what could be. I expect him to be a major factor this year.

The freshman class is loaded, at least by Syracuse standards. Boeheim called this the best recruiting class he's ever had. Six players, all of whom are good. Judah Mintz is electric and can step in right away at the point guard spot. They are deep, though Boeheim only usually uses like 6-7 guys. We'll see how it shakes out this year. His best teams have basically been 8-man rotations, with all 8 being good players. I think this team has a chance to be something like that. But they'll be young, and it's not super comforting for me that their best scorer is a 6'2", relatively unathletic shooting guard.

But it's time for hoops baby. Let's go Orange!
 

The Filthy One

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Aug 11, 2005
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Do we have two Cuse hoops threads? Can they be merged?

A few early notes:
  • The team took an early loss when Chris Bunch changed his last name to Bell. I was very excited about having a Bunch on the team.
  • They looked predictably terrible in their first pre-season game. I think the early season will be rough for them, as new players figure things out.
  • Qadir Copeland looked really good in the highlights I saw from their win over IUP. He's long and can play the top and the bottom of the zone. Boeheim even invoked the rare "Josh Pace" comparison for him. I expect him to get a lot of run as a playmaker/defender.
I forever hold out hope that Boeheim will play a real rotation (and maybe man-to-man from time to time), but as you noted, @BaseballJones , he'll roll with 8 max.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,031
Oh snap - sorry I started a new thread and didn’t think about the other one! My bad. Mods, please merge.
 

The Filthy One

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Encouraging opener last night against Lehigh. I actually got to watch this game, as it was available on ESPN+. A team like Lehigh has nobody to guard Jesse Edwards, and it showed, as he pretty much controlled the first half. Mintz looked great yesterday -- under control, attacking the rim, and explosive. Torrence also played really well. Between those two and Girard and occasionally Copeland, I think they'll have plenty of guards. The forwards are a work-in-progress. Bell has a great shot, but he looks pretty tentative on both ends. Taylor didn't look great yesterday, though he did flash a little bit of offensive game in the second half.

Benny Williams...man, I don't know about Benny. He really contributed nothing when he was on the floor. He didn't finish contested layups, missed his free throws, was kind of all over the place on offense...just rough. I'm worried he's not the guy they thought they were getting when they recruited him. He could find himself buried on the bench if any of the freshmen step up.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
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Did they try playing man-to-man at all?

Langel would be a good choice for a bigger school that's looking for a coach.
 

The Filthy One

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Did they try playing man-to-man at all?
It looks like they did, but I don't think they practice man enough to be really good at it. I have my doubts about any team's ability to practice enough of each defense (man, 2-3) to be effective at both. This Syracuse team appears to be good at neither.

I don't want to blame the whole thing on the zone, but I think it's just increasingly challenging to win with a defense that takes time for players to master. There's too much personnel turnover in college basketball to make it work. On offense, losing 3 of the top 4 scorers from last year's team looks like too much to overcome. They got zero points from their small forwards yesterday. Zero. Kind of astounding, actually.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Playing the 2-3 zone has gotten more difficult because players have gotten better across the board at shooting from deeper out. So many more guys in college can hit NBA level threes (and beyond). It forces SU to expand the zone even more, which means they effectively play a 4-1, with just one guy in the paint protecting the rim. Spreading out the zone makes it much easier for teams to exploit it, both in base offense and on the offensive glass. It's just really hard for SU to get stops against good teams unless they're just having a terrible night shooting (which does happen, but with less frequency than it used to).

In the modern game with such accurate shooting, the 2-3 zone is becoming a bad defense to play for a number of reasons.
 

The Filthy One

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Could be worse. Could be Georgetown.

Mintz looks like a player. The other freshman are not ready. Not sure what Boeheim can do with this squad.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,031
Could be worse. Could be Georgetown.

Mintz looks like a player. The other freshman are not ready. Not sure what Boeheim can do with this squad.
Other than Girard, they're a bunch of good athletes. Let them play man and push the pace. Get out of the damned zone that most teams now find a way to chew up.

When you struggle to score in the half court, you have to find other ways, like beating teams down the court. They have the athletes now to do it (again, other than Girard). Push the pace, play aggressive M-to-M defense, harass teams, seek turnovers, and run run run run run.

It might not work. Totally possible. But they're going to get demolished by good teams as it is. They're going to lose a ton playing same-old Syracuse style.