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March 27, 2009 12:10 PM

Beating a 2-3 Zone For Dummies

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If you've watched any of the NCAA Tournament this year, or if you've ever seen a Syracuse basketball game before, then you probably know that the Orange play a 2-3 zone on defense (mainly because the announcers, pundits and talking heads never let you forget it; there are other teams that run zones, right?). Often it causes fits for their opponents, who are more accustomed to facing man-to-man.

The next team that will try to crack the zone is Oklahoma, the 2-seed in the South region, when the Sooners and Orange meet tonight at 7:27pm.

So how is Oklahoma and head coach Jeff Capel preparing for Jim Boeheim's defense? By watching his DVD, of course.

Readily available on DVD or VHS: "Jim Boeheim’s Complete Guide to the 2-3 Zone Defense.”

Shipping and handling is not included in the $39.95 asking price, but according to product advertising, "secrets” and even tips on beating the Syracuse zone are part of the package.

Money well spent? For Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel, yes, long ago.

"That’s how I learned it, how I learned to teach it,” Capel said.

I wonder if it came in a package deal with Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills video.

Capel is hardly the first basketball coach to use movies to learn new strategies and pick up tips. Isaiah Thomas watched Eddie at least a dozen times.

Thanks to James for the tip.

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