Syracuse Orange vs. Ohio State preview
Sat, 24 Mar 2012 03:49:28 GMT —
The Orange seem to know what being focused on an National Championship is all about as they head into the weekend. While Orange fans in Boston were still buzzing on Friday after SU's thrilling 64-62 win over Wisconsin on Thursday night, the players had long shifted their focus over to their next opponent Ohio State.
"They've got the inside presence," says SU Head Coach Jim Boeheim, "They've got a great point guard. They've got great scorers. They've got tremendous size and physical strength and rebounding. They've got all the tools to be a great team, and they are a great team. I think they're the best team I've seen all year long in terms of total makeup and what they do. Their point guard is an unbelievable player. But their whole team is perfectly constructed to be a great college basketball team, and they are."
The Orange will look even deeper heading into Saturday's "elite eight"
game with the Buckeyes if C.J. Fair continues to play the way he did against Wisconsin. Fair scored 15 points against the Badgers after scoring just 20 points total over the previous six games.
"I mean, it was big for me," says Fair, "early in the game I got an easy pass from Dion to get me going for the dunk, and just seeing the ball go in off an easy bucket. I think that gave me confidence and got me going for the rest of the night."
"It wasn't me working on your shooting the other day?," jokingly responded Boeheim, "That wasn't it? Oh, geez."
SU starting center Rakeen Christmas will have his work cut out for him against Ohio State's big man Jared Sullinger, somebody he knows very well from the AAU.
"Very excited," admits Christmas, "Played in high school. It's a good match-up and just can't wait to play him again."
"James and C.J. are going to have to help us," refelcted senior Kris Joseph about handling Sullinger, "It's going to be the weak side man on the back of the zone that's going to be able to help the most when he gets the ball down low. You know, if Rakeem does a good enough job we won't need to. But it's going to be our job to definitely give him a lot of help there on the backside."