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Insider Intel: Syracuse's only shot

The Orange's shooting guards had better not zone out vs. Blake Griffin and Oklahoma

Originally Published: March 22, 2009
By Elena Bergeron | ESPN The Magazine

Syracuse's amazing run hasn't slowed since the Big East tourney, and in fact, the upperclassman-led squad (four starters are juniors) is shaping up at exactly the right time. The Orange's 2-3 zone has battered shooters in the tourney, holding every opponent since UConn under 70 ppg, after giving up a 71.5 average for the season.

But if they expect it to work against Oklahoma in the Sweet 16, they're kidding themselves. Zones are red meat for Blake Griffin -- he's got 26 double-doubles this season, and against Michigan (the only other pure zone team the Sooners faced this season), Griffin took advantage on the glass, pulling down 17 boards. The 1-3-1 and 2-3 that the Wolverines threw at Griffin did nothing to stop his offensive efficiency, either. He still dropped 33 points on 14-for-20 shooting.

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