why Syracuse plays a zone defense | Syracusefan.com

why Syracuse plays a zone defense

Fly Rodder

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I think that it is an exceptionally easy defense to play, but exceptionally difficult to play well which makes other teams shy away from it.

I thought the key take away from what Bilas said was that other teams have to prepare for the zone and change their offense instead of changing up the defense to prepare for an offense. A zone is hard to dribble/drive against and college shooters aren't good enough to bury three after three (except for Duke) from a few feet outside of the arc. Plus, Syracuse recruits actively for the defense (long athletic wings with huge wingspans) instead of simply recruiting the best athletes and going from there. The center needs to be more than just big. He needs to effectively communicate ball movement to the other defenders and block shots on drives.

Whatever Boeheim is doing now, it's pretty obvious that's working exceptionally well.
 

UnderHisOwnPower

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Very interesting. 43% of shots taken against the zone are 3's. I think that's the bottom line, when played well it becomes a "shoot over" defense and forces the lower percentage option from the offense. The other thing is it lowers the # of possessions, as teams need to be patient to find the openings and often wait to shoot within 10 seconds of the shot clock running out.

I don't agree at all that the zone naturally puts the defenders in rebounding position. When a forward is flying out to the corner to cover a long 3, he is not in rebounding position as a third of the floor is now exposed for a long rebound. He can obvioulsy box the shooter, but the ball doesn't bound back out the arc most times, so to be a good rebounder out of a zone takes alot of effort, and teams like Pitt dump and chase with alot of success because they cover the gaps on rebounds.

In any event, come tournament time, teams who haven't seen it are F'ed, that's what I like best about it :)
 

Capt. Tuttle

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#1 Reason: It drives Igor nuts. Proof. His last post.
#2 Reason: Most teams can't shoot, or don't have a lot of shooters. Duke was the outlier.
#3 Reason: (In my opinion) It brings more blocked shots. We get a ton of back side blocks. Far more than if our player was playing an offensive player out on the wing.
#4 Reason: It encourages mid range, on the move shots, which players don't practice too much.
#5 Reason: The guards are in great position for steals.
#6 Reason: Can win without elite talent. One NBA guy surrounded with good college players can win.
#7 Reason: It works. Absent 2 lost centers, we would have had at least 3 FF in the last 5 years, with at least on NC.
 

OttoinGrotto

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#3 Reason: (In my opinion) It brings more blocked shots. We get a ton of back side blocks. Far more than if our player was playing an offensive player out on the wing.
Agreed.
 

jordoo

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Wait JB has been employing a zone? For the longest time I thought we played a soft m2m that switched everything and all our centers were extremely lazy on defense hanging out in the middle.
 

cpatrocks

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Do you remember in the '03 run, for the opponents very first possession during the Tourny we always played Man. I assumed that JB felt that the other team spent so much time preparing for the zone, he could throw them off for the first possession -- I kinda liked that --- I get why he plays zone exclusively now, but messing with the opponents heads for one possession was fun.
 

jordoo

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Very interesting. 43% of shots taken against the zone are 3's. I think that's the bottom line, when played well it becomes a "shoot over" defense and forces the lower percentage option from the offense. The other thing is it lowers the # of possessions, as teams need to be patient to find the openings and often wait to shoot within 10 seconds of the shot clock running out.

I don't agree at all that the zone naturally puts the defenders in rebounding position. When a forward is flying out to the corner to cover a long 3, he is not in rebounding position as a third of the floor is now exposed for a long rebound. He can obvioulsy box the shooter, but the ball doesn't bound back out the arc most times, so to be a good rebounder out of a zone takes alot of effort, and teams like Pitt dump and chase with alot of success because they cover the gaps on rebounds.

In any event, come tournament time, teams who haven't seen it are F'ed, that's what I like best about it :)

I think in theory you set up in good rebounding position and Bilas was I believe pointing out that it keeps our bigs close to the basket to rebound rather than out defending which happens a lot in m2m. That said you are correct because our zone stretches so far its hard er to rebound out of and also there is always the issue of finding a man to block out. We need extremely good natural instinct rebounders on the back line and guards that are willing to help to have good rebounding teams the way JB has played the zone lately like a 4 out 1 in.
 

LGO85

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Do you remember in the '03 run, for the opponents very first possession during the Tourny we always played Man. I assumed that JB felt that the other team spent so much time preparing for the zone, he could throw them off for the first possession -- I kinda liked that --- I get why he plays zone exclusively now, but messing with the opponents heads for one possession was fun.

Can you imagine the hilarity that would ensue if he did that now? The other teams wouldn't know what to do.
 

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