Someone asked me yesterday how in-depth my knowledge of this Butler team is. Not very much, I had to admit. I know Butler is an accredited university. And I know they're near Indianapolis. After that it gets a little hazy.
Alright so the best player? Shelvin Mack. He can shoot the three (uh-oh) and isn't prone to making too many mistakes (uh-oh). He shot a career-high seven 3-pointers against UTEP in the first round.
Don't forget about Gordon Haywood, though. He leads the team in scoring and rebounds.
Jim Boeheim knows a thing or do about both of them. And he'd like to make sure you are aware of that.
"I’m the chairman of the committee that put them on the teams," Boeheim said, drawing laughs from his audience of reporters. "I just wanted to point out I recognized how good they were and made sure they were on the teams."
"Both the kids from Butler were just tremendous kids, they really were," Boeheim said. "They’re tremendous players."
The Dreaded Double-Tremendous! This does not bode well. (Oh by the way, they're both sophomores...good work, Butler).
If Butler wants any chance to beat the Orange, they'll need to do two things very well. No. 1, they'll have to solve the 2-3 zone early and often. Easier said than done. Considering how many three's they're prone to launching, they can certainly do it if they hit their shots. No. 2, they'll want to control the paint. Namely, they'll want to try and win the rebounding battle and keep Rick Jackson in foul trouble. SU dodged a huge bullet against Gonzaga when RickJack notched his third foul early but the Zags didn't take advantage of it.
"It’s hard," Jackson said. "You don’t want to just keep on giving them lay-ups. You know guys are gonna try to just come at me because they know that I’m the No. 1 big guy. You gotta just play your game. When you worry about fouling out, picking up fouls, that’s when you do pick up fouls. All I can do is play my game."
Syracuse fans are already arguing over Finals Fours and National Titles and places in history. We would be wise to learn from the many others who have gone down this road and instead just focus on beating what's going to be a very solid Butler team. THEN, we'll worry about whatever's ahead.
More links and notes after the jump...
- Orange Scouting Report: Syracuse vs. Butler...Mike Waters
- Syracuse basketball fans travel to Salt Lake City...Katie Kramer
- Butler forever connected to Hoosiers...Donna Ditota
- Arinze Onuaku improving, but still out for today's game...Mike Waters
- Bill Frieder had a hand in Boeheim's hiring...Mike Waters
- Orange ready for Sweet Sixteen game with Butler...CuseConfidential
- Syracuse takes on Butler in the Sweet Sixteen...Examiner.com
- Ebay Item of the Week: Beat the Butler...Three Idiots on Sports