The Story of the ACC Tournament and What Syracuse Lacks: Depth

Teams that lack depth, like Syracuse, crash out of the ACC tourney.

Jim Boeheim was adamant that depth played no role in Syracuse’s heartbreaking defeat to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in the ACC Tournament. However, whether Boeheim says it or not, depth is often what separates two teams in a close game, particularly when it is part of a “survive and advance” tournament.

Depth played a major role in the first quarterfinal game on Thursday and the losing coach was the first one to acknowledge it.

“We could have used some more bodies to help us,” Jamie Dixon said after Pitt fell to UNC.

The Tar Heels and Panthers were locked into a tight game in the second half, and eventually, the Heels just wore them down.

“They had a lot of people they were throwing at us,” Pitt forward Michael Young said. “They were just rotating guys.”

Roy Williams used 11 players, not including four walk-ons who entered the game in the final minute.

It was more of the same in the second game. Duke got out to a 16 point lead over Notre Dame in the second half. Then, three Duke players, Chase Jeter, Marshall Plumlee and Brandon Ingram all picked up their fourth fouls and the Duke bench was stretched beyond its limit.

The Irish stormed back and Duke had no answer because, almost literally, Coach K had no one to put on the floor. Notre Dame erased the deficit and sent the game to overtime where they defeated the Blue Devils 84-79. Three players fouled out for Duke, including Grayson Allen, who Coach K acknowledged has been forced to play an even bigger role because of their lack of depth.

“Grayson tried to carry us. It wasn’t enough,” Mike Kryzewski said after the game. “We go the way he goes. I’m fine with [that].”

Thursday’s afternoon session illustrated that depth is not the only factor in winning games, but it certainly can make a difference and it is time Jim Boeheim, at the very least, acknowledges that.

2 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    One week JB says depth is not an issue.
    The week before he claims he has to play certain players because he has no one else.
    The problem is there is SOME talent there but JB and the rest of the “Deliverance” crew don’t have the knowledge
    to develop that talent. Roberson is a phenomenal athlete. To have him play the way he does game after game and not
    have this situation corrected is coaching malfeasance. Obokoh…6’10” and after 3 years in your system he can’t come off
    the bench and play the middle of your zone in a reserve roll? RIDICULOUS. IF JB was coaching at a HOF level, with the skill
    to match his arrogance, we would at least make the NCAA field. Heck after the trip to the Bahamas, we were ranked in the teens.
    And now…not even a 10 seed.
    People(fans) see it too. Just like the football team and Shafer’s failure resulted in decreased attendance, basketball attendance is down as well.
    It’s an inferior product…a snooze fest….and people voted with their feet in staying away. Right now JB, and his coaching and his staff, is like a drying turd next to the road. IF he gets superior talent, he’ll get 20 wins. But other programs like PITT UVA Gtown(for chrissake) not to mention Villanova, have passed SU by.
    If I were Coyle, I’d have a talk with the “perfessor” telling him I know you can do better and you expect it out of JB. And then I’d have a talk with Hopkins and see what changes he expects to make a year or two from now. And if it’s not satisfactory, I’d flush the inbred “Dueling Banjos” right down the river and start anew.

  2. richsufan

    Well said! I don’t believe there will be any change in coaching philosophy with Hopkins running the show, so this outdated zone defense that has no magic left in it, should be replaced with the newer style of play to fit into today’s game. The only option I see is to replace the whole coaching staff with some fresh blood!

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