And, in truth, for West Virginia this is not a particularly difficult game for which to prepare. Yes, the Orange are talented and that's a concern, but unlike many teams, Jim Boeheim's bunch isn't likely to throw a lot of surprises out there.
"Obviously it's tough because of their talent,'' Mazzulla said. "But we don't have to go through man-to-man stuff, pressing stuff. We have to go through zone offense and work on their sets. It's more of a personnel scout. We really have to know what they do on the offensive end. But it's no secret on defense. We have one thing to prepare for, the 2-3 zone.''
Even Bob Huggins admits that scouting isn't the issue with Syracuse.
"You work on it all year,'' the West Virginia coach said of facing the zone. "It's not like we haven't been working on facing zones.''
"It's no secret what we have to do,'' Mazzulla said. "We have to get the ball in the short corner and in the middle against the zone. And we have to make shots.''
BRIEFLY: Oddly enough, this will be the first time that Mazzulla, a fifth-year senior, has faced Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Mountaineers didn't face the Orange when Mazzulla was a freshman in 2007 and played in Morgantown in 2008 and 2010. In 2009, when WVU and SU played at the Carrier Dome (as well as in the Big East tournament semifinals) Mazzulla was being redshirted after a shoulder injury he suffered in December of 2008.
Mazzulla has, however, played in the Carrier Dome. He was the MVP of the East Regional of the NCAA tournament last year in Syracuse, where the Mountaineers beat Washington and Kentucky.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.