MBB : PRESSURE COOKER: Syracuse defense forces 22 turnovers in romp over Providence

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjrcenter_img Ed Cooley’s timeout only delayed the impending destruction.As Scoop Jardine scored to put Syracuse up three points with 5:27 left in the first half, SU switched into a full-court press, sparking the Providence head coach’s timeout.But it didn’t stop what was coming. Seven Friars possessions, seven straight turnovers.‘It was great,’ Jardine said. ‘For the most part myself and Dion (Waiters) have really done a good job of picking the intensity up. Dion got two great steals and made a 3 and a jump shot where it opened the lead up, and that’s what we need to do.’The Orange’s pressure defense turned a tight game early into a whitewash late, as PC turned the ball over 16 times in the first half and 22 in the game. No. 1 Syracuse (19-0, 6-0 Big East) rolled to a 78-55 win over the Friars (12-7, 1-5) in front of 23,311 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, sparked by a 21-5 run to end the first half. The seven straight turnovers for Providence were part of a stretch in which the Friars went 4:40 without a field goal attempt and 10 minutes without a made field goal. Syracuse tied a school record for the best start in school history with its 19th victory to match a feat set by the 1999-00 squad.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU absolutely crushed a Providence team that was missing its best player. Friars guard Vincent Council, the team’s leader in points and assists, did not play due to a coach’s decision.Syracuse forward Kris Joseph said the Orange worked on the press in practice this week and planned to unleash it anyway. Without Council to break it, PC was that much more helpless.‘We had the intention of pressing but with him being out it just made it that much better for us,’ said Joseph, who led the Orange with 13 points. ‘He’s a great ball-handler and he would definitely be able to — not necessarily pick it apart, but kind of keep their composure.’Following Cooley’s timeout, Providence did get the ball past halfcourt. PC guard Bryce Cotton pushed the ball and dished to Gerard Coleman in the left corner. But Syracuse’s defense careened toward him.Coleman picked up his dribble and was toast. SU forward C.J. Fair stole the ball from him and heaved a long pass to Jardine, who finished with a layup to make the score 21-16.‘We knew we’d be able to bother them a little bit with our press and tonight we did that,’ Jardine said. ‘But for the most part our press was really working for us whenever we used it.’Syracuse used its full-court press successfully in nonconference play, but it had not made a consistent appearance in a Big East game until Saturday.The Orange didn’t force a ton of turnovers in the backcourt. But it took the Friars out of their element and caused them to be careless.‘I don’t know if we forced them or not,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘They made a lot of turnovers.’Coleman and Kadeem Batts traveled on back-to-back possessions and Waiters knocked down a shot from the right elbow in between.Then, with the Orange up 25-16, Batts lost the ball out of bounds in the backcourt. In the lull before SU inbounded the ball, Waiters pumped his arms up and down, attempting to bring the crowd to its feet and raise the noise level of the Dome.Once play resumed, he fed off their energy.He knocked down a 3 from the right wing to put the Orange ahead by 12. Waiters scored seven points and grabbed two steals during SU’s 15-0 run to go up 32-16. When Providence broke the press, he hustled to catch up to the ball. PC forward Brice Kofane caved against the Syracuse defense, stepping on the baseline and turning it over again.And that was only the fifth straight giveaway.‘It gets us going and it leads to turnovers and it leads to buckets for us,’ Waiters said, ‘so I think it worked tremendously for us tonight.’By the time the first half buzzer sounded — after Jardine put an exclamation point on his team’s effort with a 3 as time expired — SU had hounded and smothered a Friars team that hung with the Orange at their place 10 days earlier. Syracuse backed into its 2-3 zone in the second half and grew its lead to as large as 30.But Orange’s press deserved credit for the defining run.‘You never know when we’re going to use it against a good team,’ Jardine said. ‘Because that’s a press we can use and we’ve got the athletes to be in that type of press, and coach called it tonight and it was successful for us.’[email protected]last_img read more