15 point dogs tonight. Going to need to shoot the ball effectively from outside. Between Q, Bolden, TG, MGH and Bobby; I think we can as long as they take the open looks without hesitation. I don't want to see anymore 5+ minute scoring droughts in the second half and hope we can play with full intensity for 40 minutes
'Cuse will likely sit Jerami Grant and not risk re-aggravating his back. At most he'll play limited minutes but they probably won't risk it after his ineffectiveness the last several games. This is good news for GT as that's one first round pick out of the game.
GT on offense:
Since GT has shown minimal ability to create for each other on offense and 'Cuse has the athletic advantage at near every position the open looks will be minimal, unless 'Cuse intends to leave guys open. GT guards will need to ball screen the 'Cuse guards to get in the lane AND someone will need to become a playmaker at the elbows.
GT on defense:
On defense Daniel Miller will need to play the game of his life on help-side D. I expect 'Cuse to view this as a game to get back on track and take advantage of their size, athleticism, and speed, which generally means more explosive plays at the rim.
For anyone who wants to gauge GT scouting/coaching... let's see how many open looks Cooney gets. If he's not face-guarded and allowed to get off uncontested 3's then that is a clear sign that something critical is missing in coaching or not clicking with the players. The teams that have beaten 'Cuse have at minimum sold out to keep him from getting into a rhythm from behind the arc. Cooney is probably more athletic than almost all GT guards but not to the degree where switching off screens or forcing him to put the ball on the floor is unreasonable.
Cuse by a dozen. They have not scored more than 61 points since Duke on December 1st. With no Grant I would like to think we have a shot but, alas, we cannot shoot the ball, and we cannot move the ball like UVA did against that zone.
The 'Cuse O is not great by any means. Part of the reason for some of the low scoring is the opponent intentionally milking the 35-second clock every possession to stay within arms reach (see Clemson, ND where 'Cuse shot 45% with less than 10 turnovers). It's a strategy GT should at least consider.
Grant also got hurt 3-4 games ago and hasn't played a full game in any of those.
Great start for GT. Impressed with the ability to get the ball in the middle of the zone. GT needs to stay patient and avoid the chaos that creeps in 1 out of every 3 offensive possessions.
Heyward and MGH getting the "we don't care if you shoot" treatment. Good decision by Gregory to put Heyward on the bench and put Q, Bolden, and Golden on the perimeter. That's GT's best back court to attack the zone.
Better than my imagined best case scenario for GT. Couple impressive nuances that I'm not sure if folks would have picked up on -
1) On one particular possession Q defended CJ Fair EXACTLY how he should be defended i.e., extreme force to the right hand. Sound simple but rarely happens. Credit to coaches - clear sign of good scouting.
2) Not sure if intentional or not, but Miller and Carter setting up in the short corner on the baseline is working extremely well. 'Cuse intuitively traps in the corner every time the ball goes there, but only Miller and Carter have the size and skill to pass out of that. Not sure if this was intentional or simply the best GT has, but it's extremely effective. Most teams don't have bigs that can pass well enough to be effective.
For what it's worth this is the worst I've seen Syracuse on O. Give some credit to GT's defense.
I expect a heavy lineup of Ennis, Cooney, Fair, Christmas, and Gbinije with minimal subs the second half. There just aren't enough scorers on the floor for 'Cuse with Keita and Roberson filling two spots simultaneously.
Miller in beasting in the middle on D. He needs to stay in the middle all 35 seconds on D. Even when he's not getting the block he's affecting how Syracuse is getting their shots up around the rim. No reason Ennis should be able to get in the lane and get off finger rolls over the front of the rim.