Syracuse basketball sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier says that a week off from games has proven a positive as the Orange prepares to face N.C. State on Wednesday in the ACC Tournament’s second round from Greensboro, N.C.
Guerrier, fresh off being named to the All-ACC third team, spoke with media members via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon. He said that ‘Cuse players are feeling confident as they attempt to beat the Wolfpack for the third time during the 2020-21 campaign.
N.C. State (13-9, 9-8), the No. 9 seed in the ACC Tournament, has won five in a row, while the No. 8 seed Orange (15-8, 9-7) beat quality league foes North Carolina and Clemson at home last week to boost its Big Dance resume.
But in besting the Tar Heels and the Tigers, several ‘Cuse players, including Guerrier, freshman combo guard Kadary Richmond and senior power forward/center Marek Dolezaj, were banged up a bit with various injuries.
Syracuse basketball last suited up in an official contest this past Wednesday, so when it takes the floor versus the Wolfpack, a week will have gone by. Guerrier doesn’t think that this time off will negatively affect the Orange’s momentum.
He said that everyone on the ‘Cuse roster has a positive mindset, buoyed by the squad’s two most recent victories. Health-wise, Guerrier noted that he feels “way better,” and everyone on the team feels better, too, after a bruising stretch last week, Guerrier added.
Syracuse basketball forward Quincy Guerrier says the 2-3 zone is key against N.C. State.
In his virtual call, Guerrier described the last couple of practices for the Orange as “amazing.” More often than not in 2020-21, the ‘Cuse offense has been able to effectively and efficiently score, but the team’s defense is inconsistent.
That being said, the Syracuse basketball zone looked strong versus North Carolina and Clemson, and Guerrier said an excellent defensive showing against the Wolfpack is critical.
Orange players, in the 2-3 zone, have to communicate well, move their feet, close out on shooters and rebound with precision. N.C. State is a solid 3-point shooting group, and the ‘Cuse better clamp down on the perimeter.
Additionally, as Guerrier pointed out, when Syracuse basketball shines on defense, that inevitably leads the Orange to play at a high level on offense as well.
Guerrier, who also made the All-ACC academic squad on Tuesday, says that he and his teammates are ready to go on Wednesday versus N.C. State.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which halted last year’s ACC Tournament and March Madness, Guerrier says he’s “grateful” that Syracuse basketball was able to compete in 2020-21, despite some games getting taken away due to Covid-19 protocols.