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SU Struggles to Beat CSU-LA

When you're beating a team by fewer points than letters in your opponents acronym and your opponent isn't a Division I team, you've got some issues.

SU went into the half last night leading California State University of Los Angeles by a mere four points. Poor rebounding and free throw shooting continued to plague the Orange.

CSU-LA grabbed 17 offensive rebounds which led to numerous easy baskets, especially in the first half. The Golden Eagles prowess on the boards didn't concern Jim Boeheim too much, especially when Rick Jackson is on the floor:

"Rick is a rebounder. That’s what he does best. He is a good low post player because he rebounds the ball. We need that and there will be opportunities for him to play at the four this year because we’ll need that rebounding in certain situations."

Boeheim throughout his presser raved about his depth and different lineups he's going to be able to use to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents. The Orange used very little zone defense, but when SU did, it was successful:

"We’re going to play both. We played five possessions of zone in the first thirty minutes and they didn’t score on any of those possessions. That’s a good thing to have. When Sean [Williams] goes in we’ll probably play zone, especially against a smaller team like this. We wanted to get some work in on it for the younger players and we’ll be able to show them a couple places where we didn’t cover the three-point shooters. The zone was fine during the course of the game, but we’ve spent a lot of time working on man-to-man so we will continue to do that."

What's that Jim? For the most part no more zone...Sean Williams is going to play? Whaaat?

It's very nice to see he's going to change the way he coaches to accommodate the strengths of his team. It's very easy to sit back and make them play zone and stay in your comfort zone, but with the depth and supreme athleticism of this team, man-to-man defense makes the most sense.

With ten players (including Sean Williams), the 'Cuse should be able to put a lot of pressure on teams defensively and can run the ball up and down the court to tire opponents out.

Some positives to take away from the game:
  • SU hit 6 of 12 three pointers in the first half and 9 of 21 for the game.
  • Paul Harris says he's been working on his range and showed it off drilling two of four attempts from deep.
  • Rick Jackson had 12 rebounds and four blocks. He's going to really contribute defensively this year.
  • Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf didn't have any problems with their knees.
  • The depth: nine players had double digit minutes. Boeheim was very committed to get the top nine players in the rotation on the court.
And the negatives:
  • This CSU-LA, winning by 21 is pretty pathetic considering the Orange blew them out of the water two years ago.
  • The Orange allowed 17 offensive rebounds.
  • 10-26 from the free throw line. Since when did Terrence Roberts comeback to school?
  • Andy Rautins fouled out while Devendorf and Harris had four fouls.