Brandon Triche: “We think we’ve got mismatches at every position”


Syracuse's Brandon Triche looks to pass as the Orange played Cal State-Los Angeles, in second half action at the Carrier Dome. Dennis Nett/The Post-StandardAgainst Kansas, it was Jayhawk senior Jeff Withey saying that he felt he could “dominate” Mitch McGary, who “wasn’t very tall” in the paint. Against Florida, junior Patric Young talked about how McGary wasn’t much of a post scorer. There has been no shortage of bulletin-board material for Michigan so far this tournament. Teams seem to be itching to push the Wolverines’  buttons.

It doesn’t look like that will change with Syracuse. On Friday, Orange senior guard Brandon Triche elaborated on what he think of Syracuse’s individual match-ups against Michigan.

“We think we’ve got mismatches at every position.”

But that’s not all. Triche went into specifics when talking about his teammate, 6-foot-8 junior C.J. Fair matching up with Nik Stauskas.

“How tall is he? 6-6? So, a small forward? So he’ll probably guard CJ? CJ’s definitely gonna go at him,” Triche said. “That’s what we did with Jordan Hulls, with him being such a good 3-point shooter, we went at him every play, he got a few fouls, and they had to sub him out.”

The external motivation opposing teams have been providing Michigan recently have been focused mainly on McGary. But it appears the Orange are looking to spread the wealth.

When Nik Stauskas was asked about the comments, he was blunt but wouldn’t take the bait.

“They’re going to say what they want to say,” Stauskas said. “We’re confident in our abilities. We’re just going to go out there and play Michigan basketball.”

Syracuse is clearly confident, even when it comes to going up against recent Player of the Year Award winner Trey Burke. Michael Carter-Williams was asked about Burke, and anticipates posting up the shorter guard.

“I think I can try to take him to the basket, get him on the block a little bit because I’m a lot taller than him,” Carter-Williams said. “There’s no pressure on me. He’s got a lot of pressure, now with Player of the Year, living up to expectations. I have no pressure, going out there, playing freely, enjoying the experience.”

Senior James Southerland was also finding Orange advantages everywhere he looked, including in the difference between the two teams’ experience.

Despite the fact that Michigan just beat two teams, Kansas and Florida, who had a clear edge  in veteran leadership, Southerland thinks Syracuse can ride that to a victory.

“I know Michigan is a young team, we’re a little bit older, so we’re going to definitely try to play a little smarter,” Southerland said. “I feel as if we go out there and stop ’em early, make ’em take tough shots, limit them from second‑chance opportunities, we’ll be fine.”

Triche said he doesn’t think Burke is much better than another point guard Syracuse faced years ago, Kemba Walker.

“I put him on the same even field as any of our players,” Triche said. “I know for sure he’s a great player and if I had a choice for Player of the Year I probably would have picked him too. He’s human so we’re just going to go out there and do what we have to do to win the game.”

For Michigan’s part, the Wolverines were typically civil when discussing the strengths of Syracuse. Mitch McGary said that he disagrees with Triche’s assessment of the match-ups.

“I think we’re an evenly-matched team. I think going into this game, they’re a great defensive team with the zone, but they also have a great offensive team,” McGary said. “From our aspect, our team has just as many athletes. We have long guards and forwards who are just as equipped defensively as them.

“I would never talk bad about another team, always good things.”

  • DJ

    Syracuse is going to find out the same way Kansas and Florida found out…

  • Northern Blue

    Well if we put Stauskas on Southerland and then Robinson on Fair it kind of negates the mismatch. And who is going to keep Mitch off the boards. If Withey can’t stop Mitch, then Syracuse can’t. I think Mitch will have a field day rebounding against the zone. And Burke has no mismatch, hes already played against Craft and Oladipo, the two best perimeter defenders in the country. If Triche is being guarded by Hardaway who is taller and more athletic, isn’t that a mismatch? I think its a good thing that Mitch heard this, it seemed to do the trick against Withey.

    I mean, come on… they are talking about mismatches on offence when they aren’t even a good offensive team and their defence has gotten them here… I am sure Kansas thought they had mismatches everywhere too.

    GO BLUE!

  • Brandon

    Nice for them that they’re confident, but I can’t believe Boeheim is letting them say all this stuff. You’d never hear anyone on Michigan’s team saying stuff like that. But please Syracuse, provide us more bulletin board material. It worked out quite well in our first 4 games when everyone thought we’d lose those so please hype it up

  • snoopblue

    I am SO GLAD Triche said this. This season, it seems like when we are doubted or someone from the opposing team says something negative towards, our guys come out looking to throw that first punch. FYI – we are undefeated (3-0) against teams that have orange as one of their primary colors (Illinois (twice) and Florida). Let’s keep that alive! GO BLUE

  • AG

    I can totally believe Boeheim’s players are saying this. Boeheim is an arrogant jerk himself. If it weren’t for so many of ESPN’s staff being Syracuse and UConn alums, don’t you think we’d hear more about how freaking many Cuse players end up academically ineligible?

    This is what’s going to happen: Michigan is going to look inside to McGary early, if that doesn’t work, they’ll try to get Stauskas and Hardaway going from 3. Hit a few shots, and they’ll start to come out and challenge our shooters, opening lanes to the basket for Burke. Michigan will probably look for ways to make Cuse a jumpshooting team, and if Triche and Carter-Williams are looking ahead to the NBA Draft as much as I think they are, they’ll take a lot of bad jumpshots, letting Michigan run off long rebounds past their zone. Late in the game Cuse will try to out-size Michigan by crashing the boards and getting to the rim, but Cuse’s inability to hit free throws will hinder their ability to come back.

    At least I hope.

  • ZRL

    Didn’t Tennessee players say similar things a couple of years ago?

  • Adam Valentine

    Anyone think that Cuse knows the only way to really get Trey off his game is for him to make it personal? Maybe smart trolling on their part.

    • gpsimms

      Ha! A topic on which you certainly have some experience.

      edit: I’ll leave you alone from now on on this site, promise.

      • Adam Valentine

        Pot. Meet kettle.

    • jemblue

      Didn’t Purdue try that?

  • Paul

    If you gotta say how great you are, you really aren’t! Just saying cuse..

  • Kevin Holt

    There’s where they err about Trey: “He’s human.”

    He’s not.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    if Stauskas hits couple 3’s…to begin the game..lets just say game over…

    the best player on the court is trey burke…
    the most dominate player on the court is Mitch mcGary…

  • Looking forward to a good game… Key to the start is getting staukas and hardaway going… Might be a good game to get vogrich in a bit…

  • ForeverBlue

    I’ve said before (here or elsewhere) I think a good deal of Syracuse’s success is that their zone gets into their opponent’s heads who then begin to press, pass the ball around the perimeter without any real plan, dribble into traps, make bad passes, etc. In other words, they get their opponent to work against themselves. I can’t help but believe that these aren’t well coordinated comments singling out the two guys they might be most concerned about, Burke (because he’s all-everything) and Stauskas (because the zone can’t deal with as many good shooters as Michigan has). And what they are saying is that they will go right at Stauskas and try to get him in early foul trouble and they will try to get Burke to make this game about proving himself.

    I really want the Wolverines to stomp them.

    • Remember what happen to the last 2 teams with “stellar” defense… I have faith in Coach B and staff have made adjustements for the zone… I would like to see the throw in some 1-3-1 at syracuse, they are not a good jump shooting team…

  • GregGoBlue

    can’t sleep, too excited.

  • Bigrange

    Keep bringing on the comments, Syracuse. Show us how confident you are, just like Kansas and Flordia. Comparing Stauskas to Hulls is plan dumb; there’s a 6 inch difference in height. Can’t wait to see Mitch come out and prove Syracuse wrong about his low post ability and Stauskas hit a few threes to shut up the Orange.