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ODU gets ready for Saturday showdown at Syracuse

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – While cramming for final exams, the Old Dominion basketball team was back on the practice court this week, doing a little extra studying as they prepare for Saturday’s game at the Carrier Dome against 25th ranked Syracuse.

One of the main objectives, figuring out how to attack Jim Boeheim’s vaunted 2-3 zone defense.

“Two things have to happen, number one, you have to have someone in the middle of the zone that can make plays and you had better make some 3’s,” ODU coach Jeff Jones said. “If you’re not knocking down some perimeter shots, that’s what they give up, you’ve got to make some open shots beyond the 3-point line”  

Saturday’s game against the Orange will be Jeff Jones first time coaching against Boeheim.

But don’t expect Boeheim to bring his team to Norfolk.

This game is a one shot deal.

“Against Syracuse there was never a thought that we would get them home-at-home, that’s the way it is, you have got to expect it,” Jones said. “It’s not fair, it really is not, but you can either whine and complain about it or do something about it that’s why we’ve decided to take the step to change our scheduling philosophy and play the Syracuse game”

Both ODU and Syracuse have won 5 games in a row.

For the Monarchs to make it six straight, they will have to win their first game over ranked opponent since they beat VCU four years ago at the Ted. Their last road win over a ranked opponent was 9 years ago at Georgetown.

But Jeff Jones say’s there’s no pressure, just work hard and have fun.

“Why not enjoy it and have fun? As a competitor don’t you want to test yourself against someone that is known to be really, really good? If you win it’s great, if you fall short then so what, you go out there and give it your best.”

And it doesn’t hurt to have some confidence.

“We’re going to be in the game, I highly doubt that we are going to get run out of the gym,” Senior B.J. Stith said.  “I don’t think the guys pride will allow that to happen, I feel like it’s going to be a good game, we just have to stick around, stick around and we’ll see at the end.”

Tip-off Saturday at noon at the Carrier Dome.

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