Moses Wright Looks To Be The "Zone-Buster" In Syracuse Rematch

Matthew McGavic

Not a lot went right in Georgia Tech's previous outing against the Syracuse Orange. Powered mainly by a lights-out shooting performance by both Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim, the Orange soundly defeated the Yellow Jackets 97-63 in what was Tech's worst home loss in nearly 39 years.

One of the lone bright spots that evening was the play of Moses Wright. The junior forward went 8-17 from the field, having double the made field goals of anyone else in a Georgia Tech uniform. Not only did he lead the Jackets in scoring with 17, he was just 1 rebound away from a double double. 

On a night where everyone seemed to struggle, Wright was locked in. Head coach Josh Pastner recognizes his worth against the zone defense, and has made him the "go-to" guy when playing teams that run primarily a zone defense.

"Whenever we play against the zone, [Coach Pastner] always looks at me to be the zone-buster," he said. "Gotta fill my role in on that one."

A staple of Tech offense, particularly against teams like Syracuse, has been the high pick-and-roll from the top of the key. Both Wright and fellow big man senior James Banks III have had a fair amount of success with this offense, and expects this trend to continue against the Orange.

"With Syracuse they fan out, usually the big steps up and takes whoever has the high post. James [Banks III] usually seals the 4 [spot], so that's gonna be an easy drop off to him. Or James will seal off his defender and make it an easy drive."

As crucial as executing their offense against the Orange will be, doing so on the defensive side will ball will be even more critical. This is especially true given the amount of shots that Syracuse like to take from the perimeter. Fortunately their recent run of playing man-to-man defense at times will play into their favor against the Orange, and Wright expects a heavy dose of it come Saturday.

"Probably gonna go more man defense," he said. "We've never been afraid to go man."

Wright also says that he prefers it than playing the zone, saying: "I like man [defense]. Plus it's easier to have help-side defense with man than with zone. Being a forward, I'm always up in the zone. It's always kind of harder." Regardless of what defensive sets Pastner will roll out, it sounds like Wright is determined to even the season series no matter where he is on the floor.

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