Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is practically college basketball’s Mr. Zone. However, it appears there’s a new sheriff in Zone City.
In No. 5 Duke’s 60-44 victory against Syracuse, the Orange scored just 0.69 points per possession. This is Duke’s best defensive performance since January 8, 2013 according to ESPN reporter John Gasaway.
The implementation of the zone defense has coincided with a five-game winning streak for Duke and now can be even more potent with the return of freshman forward Marvin Bagley.
After the game, Boeheim delivered this gem of a quote.
"I don’t think Coach K should be allowed to play zone.” Jim Boeheim says jokingly in the post game presser.
— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) February 25, 2018
Well isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? In all seriousness, much credit to Boeheim for accepting the defeat graciously.
The Duke defense was stellar, holding Syracuse to 16 points and 0-for-10 from the 3-point line at the half.
Syracuse shot just 31.5 percent overall.
Meanwhile, Duke earned the victory despite beginning 0-for-15 from the 3-point line until Trevon Duval’s conversion midway through the second half.
With the victory, Duke improves to 24-5 and 12-4 in ACC play. With the loss, Syracuse drops to 18-11 overall and 7-9 in ACC play.
Next up for Duke is a road contest at Virginia Tech on Feb. 26 (7 p.m. EST) that will be televised on ESPN.
Duke closes out the regular season on March 3 against visiting No. 10 North Carolina.
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