A Familiar Foe

Hoosiers hoping Tuesday night's rematch with Syracuse goes differently this time around. Tip is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Ever since the Big Ten/ACC matchups were announced, Indiana fans have been anxiously waiting the Hoosiers' rematch with Syracuse.

The Orange, of course, ended Indiana's magical season last March with a 61-50 win in the Sweet Sixteen in Washington D.C.

Indiana will get another shot at No. 4 Syracuse Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. EST on ESPN. Syracuse is coming off a Maui Invitational championship.

"We can't focus on rematch," Indiana coach Tom Crean said Monday. "We can focus on the things we learned from the game, but it's two different teams.

"I know our guys are excited to play, so here we go."

In last year's game, the Hoosiers -- a No. 1 seed -- struggled from the start on both ends of the court. They failed to solve the Syracuse 2-3 zone, and defensively, the Orange attacked Indiana's undersized guards with bigger ones of their own.

Then-senior guard Jordan Hulls and then-freshman guard Yogi Ferrell were both held scoreless in the game. Ferrell also had four turnovers.

"We played too fast at times, but we didn't run enough," Crean said. "We picked a bad time to not have a good game. It doesn't make sense to put a lot of time into that game because everybody is so different."

As Crean mentioned, both teams are different now, but some major factors remain the same. The Hoosiers will still have to find a way to attack the Syracuse zone, something they failed to do last March.

Unlike last year, though, Indiana won't be able to do it with shooting. The Hoosiers don't have nearly as much perimeter shooting as they did a season ago, but they do have better athletes who should be able to attack the zone on the drive.

"You can't settle, you can't come down and stand around. Those are the biggest things," Crean said. "You've really got to be committed to getting the best shot you can get, whether it's early or whether it's late. There's definitely different attack points that we think are there.

"You're never going to avoid [the zone]. You've got to stay with what you do. We just need to play smart, I don't want to say simple basketball, but we don't need to complicate it. I know that's going to be easier said than done."

One reason, in particular, why the Hoosiers may have struggled against the zone last time was they didn't get the ball to the middle enough. Freshman Noah Vonleh knows that is a focus this time around.

"I went back and watched it personally by myself," Vonleh said. "I have to get to the middle to catch the ball."

Syracuse (7-0) put three players in double figures last March. Two of those three -- Michael Carter-Williams (24 points) and Brandon Triche (14 points) are gone.

The other, C.J. Fair, is Syracuse's top player so far this season. Through seven games, Fair is averaging 18 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in 36.4 minutes. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward will be a very difficult matchup for the Hoosiers.

Trevor Cooney (14.3 ppg), Jerami Grant (14.2 ppg) and Tyler Ennis (11.7 ppg) are also scoring in double-figures for the Orange.

For more on Syracuse, check out Joe Popely's scouting report on the Orange. It provides more in-depth analysis and information.

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