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Behind Enemy Lines: Syracuse

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We go “Behind Enemy Lines” with James Szuba of to talk BC and Syracuse

BCI: Give us a high level overview of the program. What were the expectations coming into the year? Is there any part of the fanbase that thinks it is time for Coach B to retire?

JS: Details are my thing, but I’ll give a holistic view: Expectations are somewhat aligned to where we are right now, a borderline tournament team. We probably outperformed in the non-conference a bit and have underperformed in the ACC thus far. There has always been part of the fan base who has said it’s time for him to retire for as long as I’ve followed the team. It might hold more water now as he’s aged, but as JB himself has said, Warren Buffet is well into his 80s and still doing things at a high level.

BCI: Cuse’s offensive stats are pretty bad this year. What do you contribute that to?

JS: Incredible defense! On a real note, this roster is near a complete makeover from last season. Battle and Brissett are the only real scoring threats and Frank is really a past-first player having to score for us. Nobody outside of those three has shown a consistent ability to score. It’s defense first and offense second in the Syracuse system.

BCI: On the flip side Cuse owns the 16th best effective field goal % in the country. Is this a team that really knows how to get after it in the 2-3 zone?

JS: Definitely. The team is the tallest in the country to boot. The length, height and athleticism embody a vintage Syracuse 2-3 zone. It’s been a pleasure to watch this year sans defending the three.

BCI: Who is the X-Factor on the Cuse team?

JS :I’m going to cheat and say the 4 spot. Marek Dolezaj and Matt Moyer are both x-factors at that positition as we really need scoring at the opposite forward from Oshae Brissett. Dolezaj seems to make the hustle plays, albeit not so much of late, and Moyer has shown an ability to rim run and cut at the right time while rebounding for the both of them has been hit or miss.

BCI: Cuse wins if? BC wins if?

JS: This game comes down to three point line in my opinion. Syracuse struggled to defend behind the line and BC has a troika of elite guard who can stroke it. That should decide the game.