Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim Explains What Makes The 2-3 Zone So Elite

On today's Barstool Bench Mob, we welcomed on Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim! The sharpshooter was generous enough to take some time with us chatting about the Orange's tournament run, previewing Houston in the Sweet 16, how former Syracuse stars have helped him get to where he is today, and much more.

We also touched on a topic that is synonymous with Syracuse Basketball: the 2-3 zone. What makes it work so well, and how do teams continue to struggle against it year after year in the NCAA Tournament? 

Buddy Boeheim: "As I got older, I realized the length they [Syracuse] recruit, what they do, the different things. And even when I got here, I still didn't know some of the rotations, I didn't fully understand it, because there's so much more to it than just a 2-3 zone. There's man principles, when to rotate, where to rotate, we have different styles of playing it, we have a forward zone that depends on the 1-3-1 or a two guard set. So, there's so many wrinkles you can throw into it, and it's so complex. Whenever freshmen come in they're like, 'What am I supposed to do in this situation, or that?'"

Buddy Boeheim: "Some teams have really prepared for it well. Virginia is probably the best at attacking a zone, but for the most part, especially in the tournament, when teams like San Diego State, some of those guys were like, "Man, we can't get..." They think they're open, and the next thing you know, we're right there contesting it. And they took about 30-40 threes, and they made about five in the beginning of the game. It just gets teams, it's different. There's nothing like the Syracuse zone, it's a lot of fun, even when you have a 200 pound center underneath, and he played against a 250 guy on West Virginia, and he looked lost out there, because the zone just does that to people. It's a lot of fun being able to be a part of that, and seeing how effective it is."

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see how much of an impact the Syracuse zone had on both SDSU and WVU this weekend. Opposing players were turning the ball over consistently, throwing the ball out of bounds with no teammate in sight, and putting up forced shots. That's what Jim Boeheim's defense can do to you. And in a win or go home game? The pressure is on to solve it.

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