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Syracuse vs. Indiana State: Sycamore Or Less

I know it must be confusing when you see the Big East All-Conference 1st Team has six players. You assume, well, all Big East teams must play with six player on the floor at any given time. And so, when preparing against a Big East team, you probably want to go ahead and practice against six guys at once.

To prepare for Syracuse's size and famous 2-3 zone defense, the Sycamores are playing 6-on-5 in practice and they are shooting over a hockey stick with a towel wrapped around the top to simulate the length of the Orange men.

"You try and simulate whatever you can. Whether it’s six guys in our zone or having the guys shoot over a stick off of a drive or a post move. We’ve done it before, but we have to break it out this week. We have to try a little bit of everything," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing told The Tribune-Star.

A hockey stick with a towel wrapped around the top? That sounds racist. I think. Possibly.

Also, someone needs to stop Indiana State coach Greg Lansing from watching only Syracuse highlights on an IMAX screen. He's totally losing perspective.

"I mean they have four or five guys with seven-foot wing spans that just intimidate you," he said. "It's a beast. We haven't really seen that kind of length this season."

Someone just had to go and ask Larry Bird what he thought of all this. Mr. Sycamore himself will be watching, hopefully not in the building. I don't like that kind of karma.

"It’s an exciting time," Bird said last week. "I’m sure all their friends will be calling and there will be a lot more excitement around campus. They did what they had to do. The next step’s a bigger step for them. We’re all proud of them, no matter what happens."

Finally, how bout a little actual analysis? Would that be helpful? The Juice did a rundown of our first two round opponents, including the Sycs (my name for them). Let's cut to the well do they shoot the three?

Indiana State shoots a respectable but hardly deadly 36.3 percent from 3. The two shooters Syracuse needs to watch out for are guards Aaron Carter and Jordan Printy. Printy shoots 48 percent from behind the arc, while Carter has hoisted a team-leading 141 threes at a 34.8 percent clip.