Syracuse basketball to try different offensive approach after down season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse When Jim Boeheim blew his whistle to modify the drill on Oct. 7, Paschal Chukwu and Chinonso Obokoh smirked at each other.“Only 3s now,” Boeheim said.The three-on-two, two-on-one drill works on capitalizing on a man advantage in the open court. It usually gives the guards open jumpers and big men opportunities at the rim. But with Boeheim’s tweak, even the 7-foot-2 Chukwu and 6-foot-9 Obokoh had an excuse to pull up from behind the 3-point line and launch prayers at the rim.As the Orange prepares for the 2015-16 season, it’s probably the only time its centers will be pseudo-perimeter threats. But the 3s-only drill is a microcosm of the offensive approach SU plans to employ this season, one predicated on long-range jumpers it couldn’t rely on last season.“We were not a good offensive team really at any stage last year, I didn’t think,” Boeheim said at Syracuse’s media day on Friday. “I think we really relied on Trevor (Cooney). Mike (Gbinije) made some 3s but it wasn’t something we thought about. This year, we think both of those guys are going to make 3s.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“ … We have, I think, five guys legitimately that we would run plays for and try and get 3-point shots for. I think that is going to be a big key to how successful we’re going to be.”According to, Syracuse shot 30.7 percent from deep in Atlantic Coast Conference play last season, which ranked 13th out of 15 teams. The 3-point shot accounted for just 22.2 percent of the Orange’s total points, which was 11th in the conference and matches up with its 16.6 attempts from long range per game.But Boeheim wants 3s to be the centerpiece of Syracuse’s offense this coming season, telling CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein that the Orange is “probably going to have to take 30 3s or maybe 25.”With SU unranked — and not receiving any votes — in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, Boeheim sees this offensive approach as a way to beat teams the Orange “isn’t supposed to.”“Supposedly all those teams we’re going to play are better than us, so if that’s true and they are better, how do we beat them?” Boeheim said before citing Rick Pitino’s 1987 Providence team as one that was able to use 3s to beat better opponents.“I don’t know if that’s a formula that can work for us, but we certainly are going to look at it and try and work on it.”What Boeheim does know is that he conceivably has the pieces to run a 3-heavy offense.Cooney is a proven shooter as a fifth-year senior. Gbinije, another fifth-year senior, flashed a 3-point shooting ability in conference play last season and improved his jumper in the offseason. Sophomore Kaleb Joseph was not a perimeter threat last season but has made considerable improvements there. Freshman wing Malachi Richardson, 6 feet 6 inches, and freshman forward Tyler Lydon, 6 feet 8 inches, are both said to be perimeter threats heading into their first college seasons.Boeheim said he could roll out lineups with four perimeter threats, assuming center DaJuan Coleman or forward Tyler Roberson would be the odd man out. Otherwise, it’s realistic that three competent shooters will be on the court at all times. But a team that lives by the 3 can also die by it.With the season starting against Lehigh on Nov. 13, Boeheim seems fine with that for now.“If you shoot a lot of 3s and make them, you’re going to be good, and if you don’t make them it’s going to be a problem,” he said. “That’s the best way for this team to play, and I think that’s the most significant change I would like to see this year.” Commentslast_img

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