It was a week of roller coaster ride for the Syracuse Orange, but fans are still very excited to join the Duke basketball team on Saturday night.
After a 95: 91 win in January at the Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Syracuse Orange and their fans are very excited to play the Duke Blue Devils in the Carrier Dome.
Ball Durham's team has teamed up again Paul Esden Jr. from Inside The Loud House, Syracuse's FanSided site, for a Q & A before the rematch between the two teams.
Question: Has the orange changed anything about the offensive system since these two teams met for the last time?
A: Not even a bit. Jim Boeheim, head coach of Syracuse, is in his 43rd season and has been called stubborn. He sticks to his principles.
Can you blame him?
Jim has achieved everything you can do in college basketball, including, but not limited to, a national championship that has won several Coach of the Year awards and five Final Fours. He certainly knows what he's doing, but occasionally I think he can be stubborn to some degree. Syracuse lives on offense and dies of the three and when they beat from the outside, they are hard to beat with the 2-3 zone as background. This will be the case this season.
Q: Of course, Syracuse wins a big win at home against Louisville, but the tone changed quickly on Thursday morning for very unfortunate reasons. What is the mood in Syracuse and especially in the basketball team?
A: An emotional roller coaster ride for all involved.
First of all, I would like to express my condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.
This confuses the tone around Syracuse. Syracuse fans are not sure how to feel. All sources have suggested that this was a terrible accident, but even a human life was lost.
This bothers the fans of Jim Boeheim and Syracuse everywhere. Despite all this, the biggest basketball game of the season still takes place between Syracuse and Duke.
Despite what has happened, Syracuse has probably won the biggest win of the season and now has to settle for this game. Long speech, short answer to the question, the mood has been muted and we will see how it affects the sold-out audience on Saturday.
Q: There are many reasons why opposing teams sell out arenas when Duke comes to town, and this year especially Zion Williamson can be seen. Are his fans in the air on Saturday night, and the Blue Devils are still coming to town?
A: I think the best way to address this question is a tweet thread:
This is a Syracuse basketball city.
People live and breathe orange tires. The record breaking crowd will still be rough on Saturday night.
The fans are still excited about this game and this has turned into an interesting competition. I talked to several Syracuse players in the locker room after the game (apparently before the tragic accident), and the players loved the opportunity to play Duke a second time.
When I got the idea that Syracuse was looser in this game as they won the first match, I was immediately shut down by Oshae Brissett, who said every game was different, we would not think about that. The team is hungry to join a historic company that has a "no" 1 team "twice in a season.
Q: Since the victory of Syracuse against Pittsburgh on February 2, the Orange has alternated wins and losses. What must Syracuse do to stay consistent for the rest of the season?
A: This is an interesting trend, and if it stays that way, I think Duke will win it on a blowout style on Saturday. Before the season, I thought that Syracuse could survive without resistance, let me explain that.
Syracuse had a limited bank last season. So, when the three best guys (Tyus Battle, Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett) did not score, the orange were not victorious.
Syracuse has a lot of depth this season. I assumed (wrongly apparently) that some guys could play inconsistently with depth, and it does not matter because there are enough players to wear the orange.
Elijah Hughes found his form in the second half of the game in Louisville, Tyus Battle rocks and rolls on (Duke fans know that well). Syracuse needs consistency from Paschal Chukwu, who scored 18 rebounds in the first Duke game, but I'm not sure he has 18 rebounds since this game.
Q: This is Duke's first "revenge game" of the season. What will Syracuse have to do to shut down the Blue Devils?
A: good luck.
This Duke team of all that I've heard and heard from experts I believe is the Blue Devils team's best ever built
Syracuse needed a lot of funky things to beat Duke for the first time. No attempt to deny victory: Cam Reddish Minutes before the tip was cut, Tre Jones was injured in the first few minutes after defensively defending, and Tyu's battle had to make some impossible blows to get Syracuse out of this huge hole.
I do not think the strategy is sustainable this time, which means that Syracuse must find a way to win in a sustainable way. Another monster achievement of Paschal Chukwu on the boards. Oshae Brissett continued to build his trust from the outside and Tyu's Battle built the team in difficult situations.
It will not be easy, but Syracuse is at home and they are already beating Duke. I think this is another close game.
We would like Paul to step out of the Carrier Dome for his time answering these questions and the Blue Devils and Orange on Saturday afternoon at 6:00 pm ET. The game will be transferred to ESPN.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham on Twitter, @ Ball_Durham, and here on our website balldurham.com to see the full coverage of the Duke Blue Devils vs.. To experience Syracuse Orange.