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To Topple No. 1 Syracuse, Fixing Last Season's Turnover Problem Is A Good Place To Start

The Syracuse Orange play zone defense almost exclusively, they have great talent, and the zone philosophy has been ingrained since before Jim Boeheim knew where to find Greensboro on a map. Their interior defense generally runs from good to outstanding, and they've finished in the top 10 nationally in block percentage in five out of the last six years. And if you're not prepared to handle that sort of all-angles pressure, you're going to commit a lot of turnovers.

NC State actually out-shot and out-rebounded the Orange by significant margins in the Carrier Dome last season, two things which could theoretically be repeated given the rebounding weaknesses of the zone defense and the way Scott Wood is shooting the ball this season, but the killer was the turnover differential. State turned it over nearly 30% of the time, while Syracuse was south of 8% (!). It's our dads used to say to all of us growing up: "son, it's very important to have more effective possessions--by which I mean possessions that end in a shot at the hoop--than the other team." You were right, dad. Somehow you always knew.

Dribbling. You do it good or else, hear? And please don't try to shoot over Fab Melo.