Buzzketball Central: Syracuse Orangemen (10-6, 2-1) at Virginia Tech Hokies (12-3, 1-2) 7PM ESPNU

GAME INFORMATION
Date/Time: January 10, 2017 / 7 p.m.
Opponent: Syracuse
Site: Blacksburg, Virginia (Cassell Coliseum)
Radio: Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network
Talent: Jon Laaser & Mike Burnop
TV/Internet: ESPNU
Talent: Rich Hollenberg & Dino Gaudio
Live Stats: HokieSports.com
Game Notes: Virginia Tech
XM Radio: XM Internet 961

Home Again, Now what?

Buzzketball continued down that steep slope on the ACC roller coaster ride. Duke was a great high, but after 30 point loss to NC State and a 15 point loss to Florida State, the Hokies have come down really fast. Fortunately the Hokies return to the comfy confines of Cassell Coliseum tonight to face Syracuse. Syracuse comes in having won its last two ACC contests over Pitt and a then ranked Miami team. A team that is a bit of Jekyll and Hyde this season.

Still no students, middle of the week, school night, doesn't necessarily set up for a huge crowd in Cassell but the team should be rested and ready to go but may have to go another game without Seth Allen who remains a game time decision according to several sources. Syracuse enters this game 10-6, with some really surprising losses. There are losses to struggling UConn (6-9) and Georgetown (9-8), then they got their doors blown off by St Johns. Couple those with a beginning to ACC play by getting thrashed by Boston College 96-81. They made some significant changes to player rotation and style of play that then saw them beat Pitt and Miami in back to back home contests. One number that seems to jump out about Syracuse is their 3-3 record in road/neutral site games. The wins are over Holy Cross, Monmouth and, South Carolina State, while the losses are to South Carolina, Wisconsin and Boston College. Zero quality wins on the road should sound familiar to Hokies fans.

This will be the eleventh meeting between the Hokies and Orange. Syracuse leads the all-time series 8-2, starting all the way back in 1968. The Hokies will be looking to end an eight game losing streak that goes back to 2000 while also looking to get some revenge for letting a seven point lead slip away in the final two minutes of their last meeting.


The Orangemen are coached by Jim Boeheim, in his forty first year at the helm of Syracuse, having started in 1976. In forty years, his team has won 20+ games thirty seven times(three of these seasons were redacted after the investigation). They have won 30+ games an incredible 6 times. Boeheim has an incredible career record of 888-347, that doesn't include the 101 wins that Syracuse vacated due to an NCAA investigation. Syracuse is still dealing with a suspension of scholarships as part of that investigation as well, short 8 scholarships over a four year period starting in 2015. Boeheim will retire following the 2018 season.

Two interesting notes on Boeheim, the first being that he has been an assistant to USA basketball for the last decade working under Coach K, the second being that for all his sideline animation, Boeheim was not ejected from a game until 2005, going almost thirty years without an ejection. If you go all the way back to 1978, the Hokies do have one victory against Boeheim at home against a #10 Syracuse squad. Since then its been all Orange.

Defensively, the Orange for as long as Boeheim has coached employ a 2-3 zone. You will almost never seen them vary from this defense. The closest to variation is that when down big they will press full court but once in the half court they return to the zone. Boeheim keeps the defensive end simple because he wants his team to perfect the intricacies of playing one defense rather than having to be good at multiple looks. This season though I wouldn't expect to see much use of the press as Boeheim has gone to a six man rotation, which doesn't work with the hustle required for a full court press.

Offensively, Syracuse has changed from being perennially focused on using their bigs down low to a perimeter shooting offense based on personnel. This season they are averaging 23.3 attempts from outside per game and they make them at almost 40%. That's over 27 points per game from beyond the arc. The outside makes the Orange go. That said, they still manage 50 more points per game between the line and inside the arc. 15 of those points come from the line. Leaving only 35 points scored in the paint.

What does that mean for the Hokies?

The Hokies need to dominate the paint. Driving to the basket or finding Leday down low so he can work inside will be critical to this contest. Syracuse has gone to six man rotation with three guards and two forwards to start. Similar to Tech and Leday, they have a forward that sits the first few minutes and then enters the contest for almost the remainder of the game. If Sy starts than expect to see him going up against freshman Taurean Thompson to start out with and then both will give way to Leday vs the two Tyler's, Roberson and Lydon. If Tech is able to get any of the three Syracuse bigs into foul trouble, it may force Boeheim to change his entire strategy, which should work to Tech's advantage.

The Hokies are going to need to hit their perimeter shots though because this is a team that can drain it from three and has the talent to get open regularly against them. Tech does not want to be trading outside shots all day with this team so clamping down on perimeter shooters is critical.

This game should not be the high paced affairs that the last two road games were. That said, the Hokies still need to look to push the pace to be able to score baskets in transition before the Orange can set their zone in place. Forcing the pace can also draw fouls from the Syracuse starters which is critical to getting them out of their gameplan.

Orange Backcourt


Andrew White III (#3) 6'7, 210 Lbs Senior Guard is Richmond native that is a graduate transfer from Nebraska after playing two years at Kansas to begin with. He has averaged 16.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.4 APG and 1.5 SPG. He is shooting 40% from behind the arc and 43% overall. He is also shooting 76% from the free throw line.


John Gillon, (#4) 6'0, 178 Lbs Senior Guard is also a graduate transfer after playing for Colorado State for two years and Arkansas Little Rock for one season. He comes in averaging 9.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 5.1 APG and 1.7 SPG. Gillon controls the point for the Orange. He is the best of this group off the dribble but also shoots 40% from outside and 73% from the line.


Tyus Battle, (#25), 6'6, 205 Lbs Freshman Guard is averaging 8.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.1 SPG. Battle came in averaging 25 MPG but the last two games, just like the other two guards, has been called upon to play every minute. He is Syracuse best all around shooter, hitting 44% from outside and 81% from the line.

Orange Frontcourt


Tyler Lydon, (#20), 6'9, 223 Lbs Sophomore Forward is averaging 13.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1 SPG, and 1.3 BPG. Lydon is a big potential problem as he stretches defenses with his ability to shoot consistently from outside. He comes in averaging four attempts per game and is shooting 45% while doing it. His interior scoring is only slightly better at 47%. He is averaging 32 MPG but as with the other starters the last two games that number is 36.5 minutes. He also has a very strange Stache problem.


Taurean Thompson, (#12) 6'10, 225 Lbs Freshman Forward, is called upon to start, and was averaging 16.5 MPG but the last two games has seen that diminish to a 7.5 minute average. He comes in putting up 8.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.1 BPG. He is shooting 55% from the field but only 65% from the line


Tyler Roberson, (#21) 6'8, 226 Lbs comes off the bench after Thompson gets a few minutes in as a starter. He is averaging 6.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1 BPG. He is averaging 20 MPG on the season but the last two games are a different tale, where he has averaged 35 minutes per contest. His numbers are not dramatically higher for the additional playing time, which only works in Tech's favor. He has an average of one block per game but six of the sixteen came in their last game against Pitt. He shoots 50% from the field and 60% from the line.


Names the Announcers will Butcher

Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye may be the season winner in this category. Paschal Chukwu get's the only honorable mention.

What to expect from Syracuse?

The Orange will come out playing their new found short bench focused on shooting from outside while occasionally feeding their center the ball to keep the Hokies honest. It has helped them beat 11-2 Miami team and a 12-3 Pitt team. That was in the cozy confines of the Carrier Dome.

They don't really have the size to dominate Tech like most of the other ACC programs and with their bench using fewer players than even Buzz has going out there, expect to see a slower paced game plan from Syracuse.
2-3 Zone defense all game. They will attempt to disrupt passing lanes at the top of the key but will collapse into clog the lane with penetration. With this they are hoping to make Tech make mistakes with the ball as they deal with a lot of bodies inside.

The starters are not terrible from the free throw line but almost everyone else on the roster is. The depth of their perimeter shooting is also limited to the starters. Beyond those five or six players it is a significant drop off with the rest of their roster.

The Hokies

Tech needs to keep a high paced tempo for as long as they can to start the game. Three Orange guards have played all 40 minutes of their last two contests so fatigue has to drift in at some point. They have to be able to get a high number of transition baskets like they did against Duke to prevent Syracuse getting in its stingy zone defense in time.

The Orange zone will only help them slow the game, which allows their players time to recover. Tech needs to be ready to break the zone quickly. Getting the ball down low to Leday and letting him work their bigs for fouls could turn this game dramatically in the Hokies favor.

Hopefully Sy will be a bit more recovered and can give Leday a bit of a breather down low. He could also have a pretty successful day going up against this team.

Hitting perimeter shots will be another key factor. Buzz needs Bibbs to reappear from his two game disappearing act and really help the Hokies put some distance between themselves and the Orange.

One critical area the Hokies must improve as it could as it continues to haunt them game to game. They have to not turn a great defensive play immediately into a poor offensive play. They cant go from getting a stop or creating a turnover to throwing the ball away. Tech did that at least seven times during the NC State contest at least another five times against FSU. Scoring in transition is nice but scoring period is most important.

Highlight of the Florida State Game

Buzz got a great workout in, just ask his dry cleaner.

In Closing
Expect to see a faster paced game than Syracuse would like but maybe not as fast as Buzz would prefer this evening. Both teams are now using short benches and will be susceptible to foul trouble. Hopefully Tech can inflict more damage here than it takes.


Boeheim will put both hands on his head at least five times in this contest. He will be a show worth seeing unto himself. Add Buzz to the act and you have a circus. Expect to see some animated coaching tonight.

Game could get a little chippy. White and Clarke will likely have words at least a couple times during this contest.

Tough to know which version of Syracuse shows up tonight. I think its more the rest of the season version rather than the last two games. Tech wins 81-73, by hitting enough from outside and then making critical free throws down the stretch, which is what they didn't do last year against this squad at the end of the game.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Maroon leader standing by.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

So far, nothing has been falling. We are moving the ball but Syracuse is staying home.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Ignore what I said.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Great to see Seth. Big player and we've missed his production.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Also, Buzz's tweet to Clarke was kinda weird. It sounds like they're dating.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

i approve the last two Zach shots

Go Hokies

High percentage looks

The LeDunks are awesome.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

Hmm quiet in here. It seems last week kind of took the wind out of the sails for much of the fan base.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

Its freezing outside, its a weekday, school is still out, and the game is on National Television, likely not subject to blackout. Tough to get people to the game, especially if they have kids that have school tomorrow morning.

Oh I know, I was actually talking about this game thread. I certainly wish I was at the game though.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

Partly my fault. Didnt get it posted hours before the game like I normally do. Actually got caught up by that work thing that pays the bills.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

as a STH I couldn't make this game so I gave my tickets to some friends. maybe they don't have as big a mouth as I do!

Go Hokies

Huge that Lydon already has two fouls and one on Roberson just seven minutes in.

Clarke is being a straight up warrior this game. He may just out cahone them this game.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

We're a little over zealous on defense. As long as frustration doesn't set in, we'll be okay. This SU team doesn't seem to have more talent than we do.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

To be expected with the eight scholarships they are reduced between 2015 and 2018. Also keep in mind, you have two seniors out there for Syracuse that this is first season with Syracuse as graduate transfers.

We box out so infrequently the officials think it's a foul

Man these last few games really reminding me how short our team is and how long a lot of the top ACC teams are

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

Im here, just not vocal. Got kicked off the good TV for the UK game and can't access the WiFi from the other TV.

West Virginian by birth, Hokie by choice

need to hold home court

Go Hokies

LeDay in the first half:

via GIPHY

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Checking in late. This team is completely different at home than in an opponent's house.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Was just thinking that. The energy level is night and day.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Well yeah

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

How's that not a T on Boeheim?

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Transition basketball stimulates me.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

TMI, bro. TMI

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

This team is fun to watch when they play together

So. Awesome. When this team is on it's just so fun to watch.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Just got the game on for the block/steal, pass and layup. 48-41. Keep the pedal down, Hokies!

Amazing how home court makes such a difference.

Outlaw is not having a particularly good night.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

I loved bibbs last year but he hasn't shown anything great this season

West Virginian by birth, Hokie by choice

Is Buzz leaving Outlaw in there for a reason? Seems like he has proven that he doesn't want to put out the effort and shouldn't still be in with other players on the bench looking better.

We need to get the lead back to double digits before last dead ball TO. We have been struggling from the FT line since ACC play started and it might bite us if it's too close at crunch time

So now we are talking about Grayson Allen and this guy is standing up for him. Going on mute.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Seriously. That was the dumbest opinion I've heard from anyone about the whole situation

We look flat.....Going to hand this to them if we aren't careful

That last foul on Robinson didn't look like a foul to me. Maybe I have my hokie glasses on though

The announcers being in a booth in Bristol calling Hokie games get old.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

The coverage from the ACC network on WatchESPN is hands down better than being on ESPNU

They haven't confused us with the fuggin wahoos tonight, so I strongly disagree

We are hitting big shots ....Need to start playing intense on D instead of giving up easy buckets to kill our momentum

CLARKE!

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Clark with the SLAM!!!

What the hell was Buzz going of to a ref about there?

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

It looked like the Syracuse guard traveled before the timeout was called.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

And 1!!!!!

Ahmed Hill is cold blooded

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Fun to watch that's for sure. Close this one out and get the next 2!!!

Great way to beat the press and quash any kind of momentum from the alley-oop - slam it home on the other end in less than 5 seconds.

Ball don't lie

Bibbs is terrible against the press don't understand why he continues to be the first look on an inbound

If Chris Clarke sticks around all 4 years, we'll be hanging a #15 banner in Cassell. Dude is a force, and I think his game translates better to the NBA than anyone we've had in recent memory

Definitely the only player on the roster with NBA potential. Probably needs to improve his jump shot (understatement) though.

Ahmed Hill and Kadim Sy would like a word

Until he develops a shot, he's essentially Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Always choose joy.

Winner winner chicken dinner

Boom

Fam

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Good conference win, Hokies! Crowd sounded good to me, too!

Edit: FAM!

Back to .500 in ACC play. After feeling great after trouncing Duke, then awful after getting destroyed by NC State and FSU, it's becoming obvious that we're just gonna have to steal a handful of road wins.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

And then we cut to Vandy fans chanting "Overrated" while down 4...uh...guys?

Well that was nice. Nothing huge to write home about but another decent win for the committee.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I enjoyed that game.

Good win against a top ~50 team, hopefully it's enough to get our swagger back.

Good win. Any win in the ACC is a good win, though. Clarke played like a grown man tonight. He really found his next gear over the last few weeks.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Closest I have come so far to calling the actual score. Damn Bibbs for hitting those last free throws or my 81-73 would have stuck.

Better yet, you should have allotted VT some more points.

Just keep winning those home games and steal one or two on the road.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Beating Cuse and Jim "I will never allow my team to play in Blacksburg" Boeheim by 10 in Cassell... That will never get old

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Might be the last time it happens. Unless we get a home and away with the Orange next year than he is gone.

Story behind this? Haven't followed roundball at VT for as long as football so I haven't heard of this before.

The story that I have heard repeated numerous times over the past 15 years or so is that, back when we were in the Big East, Syracuse was one of the main proponents of keeping us out of the Big East in all sports outside of football. It was their opinion that we would bring nothing of valuable to the conference, and it was that mindset that played into the conference essentially strong arming us into paying a ridiculous price to join, something that no other school had to do. Apparently, part of the reason Syracuse allowed our entry was a stipulation put on our series that under no circumstance would Boeheim and the Orange have to travel to Blacksburg to play a basketball game. Fast forward to when we left the Big East for the ACC, and truth be told, we had a visit from every other Big East program during our basketball tenure... other than Syracuse.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

really enjoyed watching the team play with the lead in the second half... held off a run that cut the lead to three, then pushed it back to double digits... intestinal and mental fortitude!

To good Friends... good health... and the besting of Hoos.