Saturday, March 24, 2012

NCAA Elite Eight: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Syracuse Orange

The 'Cuse needs Joseph to assert himself on offense.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Syracuse

# 32 Kris Joseph - Guard/Forward
6-7 215 Senior Montreal, Quebec
13.5 ppg leads team, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 spg

Syracuse gave up 14 3-pointers to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet Sixteen and almost gave away the game at the end because of it. The 'Cuse have struggled defending the 3 all tournament long, and it doesn't help that standing between them and the Final Four are the Ohio State Buckeyes, and long-range threats Deshaun Thomas (7-for-15 this NCAA tournament from 3), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (4-for-9) and William Buford (36-percent on 3-pointers this year).  The Orange must counter with some sharp-shooting of their own.  The number one catalyst is senior guard/forward Kris Joseph.  He's struggled shooting from the field to this point in the tournament (8-for-25) and has been a no-show from beyond the arc (1-for-8).  In fact, Joseph hasn't had more than two made three pointers in a game dating back to Feb. 25 at Connecticut -- a six game span, which was also the last time he hit the 20-point mark (he finished with 21).  Joseph is certainly capable.  He carried Syracuse to a 64-61 overtime win against Georgetown Feb. 8 where he totalled 29 points on 6-for-11 shooting from deep.  Look for him to be aggressive on offense early as coach Jim Boheim knows that his team will need Joseph to come up big if they're going to knock off the Buckeyes.

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