Three Pointers Doom #22 Syracuse in Wisconsin
By Kevin Ryans MADISON, WI– At its core, the 2-3 zone defense forces teams to play farther away from their basket. That is why, at times, it is tough to beat. The other team has to be able to hit shots from the perimeter for the best chance at victory. For Syracuse Men’s Basketball Tuesday Night, Wisconsin provided the antidote for Orange Head Coach Jim Boeheim’s go-to defense.
The Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 0-0) shot 48 percent from three-point range and knocked off the Syracuse Orange (4-2,0-0) 77-60 Tuesday.
SU allowed eleven three-pointers overall, and the rate of success from downtown for Wisconsin did not surprise Boeheim.
“Wisconsin is probably one of the better open three-point shooting teams,” Boeheim said. “They got two or three guys who can really shoot it out there…But we are just not making good adjustments in the zone.”
The SU head coach also mentioned he had noticed holes the defense already. The 41-year head man cited opponents prior to South Carolina and Wisconsin weren’t the best at capitalizing at SU’s defensive miscues.
“We really didn’t learn anything the first four games because we gave up those same shots but teams didn’t make them,” Boeheim said. “But now we are playing teams that certainly can make ’em.”
Orange Freshman guard Tyus Battle mentioned postgame the zone’s rotations have to be pinpoint in order for the team to execute it best. Battle says the key in getting the team in good sync is communication and knowing your opponent.
“We have to talk more on defense, I think,” Battle said. “We have to really pay attention to the scouting report, I think. They hit way too many three’s. Three-point shooters who can shoot the ball and they are hitting three’s today.”
One of British rock band Fleetwood Mac’s songs describes the sentiment of the team best when it comes to the defensive mistakes coinciding with a mini two-game skid. It just takes some time.
“The five new guys trying to figure out where they are, all you need is one guy not to get in his position and there is going to be an open shot,” Boeheim said. “I think they’ll learn it but they haven’t figured it out yet.”
“(Coach Boeheim) has a pretty good concept and mentality on the final product,” Graduate Guard Andrew White III said after the game. “We have to build on that a day at a time to get better.”
The Syracuse players may not have everything in the zone defense down when it takes on North Florida Saturday, but after the loss to Wisconsin Tuesday night, the game against the Osprey’s may serve as the turning point for a team which uses a defense that has baffled opponents in the past.