While the Dayton Flyers aren't the best shooting team in the nation, they still want to make the Orange 2-3 zone uncomfortable on Saturday night. Their mascot "the Flyers" says it all...they want to play as fast as possible to score before SU is able to get back on defense.
"We want to play fast," sophomore guard Khari Price says. "So, if they're not set when we bring the ball up that's on them."
The 11-seeded Flyers stunned Ohio State in their first NCAA Tournament game, scoring 13 fast break points in the process. They hope to exceed that total against the Orange.
"One of our keys to the game going into every game is to use our defensive stops to get our fast breaks going," senior forward Matt Kavanaugh says. "Some of our best offense is in transition, so if we can get the defensive rebounds and force some stops to get out and run with it we will have a good chance of making some easy looks."
But, after playing some unfamiliar teams in their new ACC conference this season, the Orange has seen several different approaches to that vaunted 2-3 zone defense, which locked down Western Michigan on Thursday, who shot just 34.7 percent from the floor.
"Some people have tried [speeding it up] and some teams have slowed it down," Trevor Cooney, who had two of the teams eight steals on Thursday, says. "So, we've played every type of team offensively to go against the zone which is good going into the tournament. We just have to get back on defense and get our 2-3 set and make them work as an offense."
As for Jim Boeheim, he says teams that slow the game down and hold the ball for the duration of the shot clock make it tougher to get out in transition, but that as long as the Orange has the ball, they'll decide what the pace will be.
"Teams that play a little bit faster, you can get up and down a little bit better, it really..the pace of the game is dictated by whoever has the basketball," Boeheim says.
The Orange takes on Dayton on Saturday in the Round of 32 in Buffalo. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. on TBS.