|Orange get ready for Blake Griffin|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 24 March 2009 12:50|
``It's going to be a tough matchup for us,'' Flynn said Tuesday before the Orange began practicing for their South Regional semifinal against Oklahoma on Friday in Memphis, Tenn. ``But we've been playing great basketball and I think we'll be able to handle it. To know you're just two games away (from the Final Four) and one of the last 16 teams in the nation to be playing is nice.''
oint guard, Syracuse has shot 50 percent from the floor, compiling 32 assists.
``Coach Boeheim has been telling us about the 2-3 zone and how effective it can be,'' said Flynn, who had 27 points, 14 assists and nine turnovers in the two games. ``Over the past month we've shown that the zone can really stop players. Hopefully, we can do the same with Blake Griffin.''
Easier said than done - Griffin averaged 30.5 points and 15 rebounds in victories over Morgan State and Michigan - and Boeheim knows that better than anybody.
``They're good. If they hadn't had the injury to Blake Griffin, they'd be the No. 1 team in the country and the No. 1 seed in this tournament,'' said Boeheim, one win shy of 800. ``We know how tough this is going to be. We have to make sure we're aware of all the Oklahoma players, not just one guy.''
Syracuse is accustomed to big challenges, especially in the postseason. The Orange beat Connecticut and West Virginia in the Big East tournament, eventually conquering the Huskies in an epic six-overtime game before tiring in the second half of the final against Louisville and losing by 10 points.
nament, UConn is the top seed in the West, and Pittsburgh is No. 1 in the East.
``We've played against superstars all year and we've done a fairly good job of containing some of them,'' Syracuse guard Andy Rautins said. ``I feel like right now more than ever we've been playing as a team. If we continue to do so, we're going to be a tough team to beat.''
While the Orange focus on Griffin, the second-seeded Sooners (29-5) will have to worry about the elusive Flynn and his sidekicks. Rautins and Eric Devendorf went 8-for-18 against Arizona State from beyond the 3-point arc after making just 1-of-11 against Stephen F. Austin.
``Those kids are fearless. They take and make big shots and they're playing their best basketball, so it's a big challenge,'' Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. ``One of the things that makes Syracuse so difficult is Flynn. He's so good with the ball and in his decision making. His instincts are off the charts.''
At least Capel has a video of Boeheim's defense, which helped the Orange subdue Kansas for the 2003 national championship in New Orleans. What good that does is another story.
ffin) has been able to adapt, no matter what they've done.''
This is the Sooners' longest run in the NCAA tournament since 2003, when they lost in the round of eight - to Syracuse.
``We have to do what we do,'' Capel said. ``We don't want to go in overthinking this thing. It's helped us win 29 games. What we've done is pretty good.''