Boeheim's Army is getting an important workout in the Melo Center this week.
The team of former Orange men make their debut in The Basketball Tournament this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
While practicing in the Melo Center, Boeheim's Army will be able to scrimmage against the current Syracuse team for the week. While there are some former professionals playing in the tournament this summer, playing against a Final Four team from a year ago isn't too shabby for practice.
Head coach Ryan Blackwell is making one big difference this season by installing an offense, something last year's squad didn't really do.
"It's not that complicated," Blackwell said. "It's an offense that I ran a lot when I was overseas coaching pros. And I ran it a little bit at Liverpool."
"It's just getting a few shots up and being around each other. It's not a lot of time, but the good thing is these guys know each other," Blackwell said. "They've all been playing somewhere this year, so they're all in pretty decent shape."
Blackwell also said he plans to mix in some zone defense. The team is called Boeheim's Army after all.
According to Terrence Roberts, the team needed to compensate for it's lack of a big post player and they did so with the inclusion of Mookie Watkins.
"I think that really was our downfall last year," Roberts said. "We had no one really in the post who could guard Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Pretty much the reason we lost that game was he was just a big dude. He's strong and he got every rebound. That's going to be a lot harder to do with Darryl Watkins down in the paint, along with the other bigs."
Donte Greene and Hakim Warrick will meet the team in Philadelphia Saturday, while C.J. Fair will meet up with the team as soon as his stint in the NBA Summer League concludes.
For those of you living in Syracuse, I have heard rumblings from different bars and restaurants that are going to attempt to stream the game from Facebook to their TVs Saturday night. With tip-off coming at 7:30, this could be the absolute perfect time to go out for a few cocktails and watch the game with some friends. Nothing beats Syracuse basketball in the summer time, and this tournament should be even more to fun than last season with the addition of more Syracuse players.