Atlanta (WSYR-TV) – One day before meeting Michigan in Syracuse University’s fifth final four game in program history, the coach who led the Orange to four of those events and some of the current players addressed the media in Atlanta.
On Friday, Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim listened to a broad range of questions – from transfer rules, to the time coach Rick Pitino spent at SU, to Michigan’s guards.
SU senior forward James Southerland acknowledged that the Wolverines’ offense – led by Wooden Award winning guard Trey Burke – is playing is playing at a high level going into the contest.
“That’s the reason they got to the Final Four. They didn’t get here because they weren’t playing good basketball. They’re a higher offensive team, like a lot of teams that we’ve played. And like Marquette and Indiana, we’ve got to get back and make sure they don’t get easy shots,” Southerland said.
Senior Brandon Triche noted that Michigan has success spreading the floor and shooting from the perimeter, a strength that the Orange has defended well in the NCAA Tournament so far.
“One thing our zone has been able to do, especially in the tournament is stop guys from shooting 3s. Hopefully we can do that, and replicate the same defense we’ve been putting out in the last four games or so,” the Jamesville-DeWitt High School product said.
Boeheim and Michigan coach John Beilein met numerous times as Big East opponents when current Wolverines coach was at West Virginia.
The Orange will face the Wolverines in the Final Four at the Georgia Dome on Saturday night. The game is scheduled for an 8:49 p.m. tip off.