Jim Boeheim on playing man-to-man: ‘We wanted to get some practice’

first_imgSyracuse took a break from its patented 2-3 zone in an exhibition and went with man-to-man defense on Tuesday night. Jim Boeheim hinted throughout the preseason that the Orange’s depth and versatility would allow it to try new styles. After building the program for years synonymous with its defensive style, Boeheim finally deviated against Indiana University of Pennsylvania.The Orange beat the Crimson Hawks, 83-65, but the defensive shakeup was the most notable thing to occur in a meaningless game.The Orange’s starting five — Frank Howard, Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman — came out in man, but it didn’t work for SU. Four and a half minutes into the game, Syracuse trailed 15-3 and Boeheim subbed all five players on the court.“We started the game in a man (defense) because we wanted to get some practice,” Boeheim said. “It was a bad team to try and man-to-man because they got Dajuan outside, they made three 3s against our centers so it’s just not a good situation for us. That doesn’t mean we can’t play it, but we can’t play it against a team that brings our center out there. We’re not good in that situation.”Within the first five minutes of the game, IUP went 3-for-6 on 3s, with all three makes coming within a one-minute span. Guard Anthony Glover made two while 6-foot-7 forward Blake Danielak also knocked one down.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe last time Syracuse played man-to-man was in 2009 against Le Moyne. Though it was an exhibition, the Orange was stunned in that game, 82-79. The Dolphins went 7-for-20 from beyond the arc and a trio of 3s helped give Le Moyne the lead by one with eight minutes to play.Boeheim has studied the zone defense for 54 years and made the switch to use the defense full-time in 1996. His reasoning was that if SU plays the zone constantly, opposing offenses have to go out of their way to prepare for Syracuse rather than the other way around, like if the Orange played man-to-man.Though the Orange’s roster includes players with wide wingspans — notably 6-foot-6 guard Tyus Battle and Paschal Chukwu at 7 feet 2 inches — seemingly conducive to covering space in the zone, Boeheim said before the season that having more depth will allow his team to do “more things.” On Tuesday, Syracuse revealed part of what he was talking about.Boeheim added that IUP is different than “95 percent of the teams we play this year.” The 41-year head coach said Tuesday’s game yielded results that were as beneficial as nearly every other exhibition game SU has played under him. Though it wasn’t successful, practicing man-to-man gave the Orange at least a small bit of experience with it against an opposing team.“The reason we haven’t in the last 2-3 years is we really haven’t had a chance to be able to do that,” Boeheim said. “… We could theoretically use it in some situations.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img

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Jim Boeheim on playing man-to-man: ‘We wanted to get some practice’