The Syracuse Orange were able to take care of business yesterday in its final game of the non-conference schedule by beating Texas Southern 80-67. The win didn't come without vexation as Texas Southern looked to lob over the 2-3 zone on seemingly every play, especially in the first half.
Let's take a closer look at how the Tigers were able to get free looks at the rim:
Here Texas Southern is in a 1-4 set. This is our old friend; remember that set St. John's ran against Syracuse? Well this is that. TSU is looking to enter the ball into the high-post.
Once the ball is entered into the high-post Derrick Griffin immediately cuts to the rim. Malachi Richardson is chasing him which leaves Orlando Coleman open on the wing. Nonetheless, Griffin was open and was able to throw one down which proved to be quite the harbinger.
Let's take a look at a different set:
Here TSU is in a three-out, two-in set -- or simply, they have three players on the perimeter and two players inside the arc. Notice the two players along the baseline playing behind the defense. Chris Thomas is about to flash to the high-post where the ACC logo is.
Once Thomas has the ball in the high-post, the defense is already out of position. DaJuan Coleman isn't guarding the high-post or defending the rim. In the event that Coleman wanted to come up to guard the high-post, Richardson would have to come back to defend the rim.
By this time it's already too late. That's another dunk for Griffin -- one of his six on the night.
TSU is in the same set as the last. Tyler Lydon is trying to prevent the ball from getting to the high-post while Gbinije is playing the skip pass. Meanwhile that Griffin guy is clear for takeoff. This wasn't anything spectacular that TSU ran to get Griffin a lob. Essentially the defense is just caught napping here.
There you have it. It's worth noting that these types of plays are made easy when you have an athlete the caliber of Griffin who also happens to be a stud wide receiver for the football team. Syracuse also did a better job of defending the lob in the second half as Coleman and Lydon were able to break up oops on different occasions.
What did you think of Texas Southern, Orange Nation? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.