Is it some type of bizarro world out there in college basketball?
DePaul (yeah, the guys who hadn’t won a Big East game in almost two years) finally gets a conference victory?
It took a buzzer beater over Marquette to do it, but hey, props to the Demons.
Pittsburgh finally fell from the mountaintop of the Big East, losing to Georgetown and snapping a 31 home-game winning streak.
And maybe the most crazy thing of all, is that there has been zero debate about whether Syracuse should play a 2-3 zone or man-to-man this season.
Life is sweet for the Orange; but there’s always that one guy – the bully on the playground or drunk guy at the Jersey Shore – who wants to instigate and start trouble.
In our case, it happens to be Doug Gottlieb.
Shocking, we know. His argument is a flawed one.
He begins by singing the praises of the experience of Arinze Onuaku, Wes Johnson and Andy Rautins. But then when it’s time to talk about the ‘Cuse as a one-seed, he brings it back to the 2-3 zone.
Before we get to some of the choice quotes, we should note Gottlieb cites the Le Moyne loss while failing to mention it didn’t actually count.
“My only caution is because they’re reliant on that 2-3 zone, almost exclusively – my only hesitance in saying they’re the outright number-one is matchup wise. They match up against a Texas, I’m not sure you can run that type of 2-3 zone because they can shoot you out of it.”
“When you can only play one defense and its a zone, you’re gonna give up some open shots.”
According to kenpom.com, Syracuse ranks 18th in the country in scoring defense.
The only other team in the Big East better than SU? UConn.
Doug Gottlieb is wrong.
Yes he’s wrong in many more ways than we’re talking about here, but he’s particularly wrong about the SU defense.
Guess he forgot 2003. And all of The Per’fesser’s tournament appearances.
Winning big is possible with the zone and the Orange is proving it this year. It’s just a mentality on the defensive end that’s setting it apart.
So don’t allow Doug to get under your skin Orange Nation, trying to ignite the annual defensive debate because it’s no good for anyone.
Marquette here we come.