It's August and you know what that means? NCAA Basketball Previews!
NCAA Basketball Previews?
Yep, NCAA Basketball Previews.
ESPN has posted a rather lengthy rundown of who's, what's and when's of Big East basketball and it's abundantly clear that Syracuse is going to get lost in the shuffle, at least as far as preseason expectations go.
Among the ten biggest storylines is the one storyline Syracuse fans are already tired of reading about...
After that epic performance in the six-overtime win over UConn, Jonny Flynn was a goner for the NBA. But then Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris decided to join him. Suddenly the Orange went from a team poised for a huge season to a team full of uncertainty.
Well, I can think of a few ways we'll move on. Andy Rautins, Wes Johnson, Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson and Brandon Triche for starters. Certainly, this will not the team that was predicted as a Top Five powerhouse before Jonny et al. ran outta town. But it's not going to be a basement dweller by any means.
Speaking of those players, which among them will be noted as 10 Key Players for the upcoming Big East season? How many???
None. None many. Okay then...
Surely in your 10 Freshman We Can't Wait To See breakdown you'll mention He-Who-Would-Replace-Jonny, Brandon Triche.
Nope, sorry. (Don't tell Brandon. That chip on his shoulder is already the size of the Dome).
Syracuse finally re-emerges in the 10 Non-Conference Games We Can't Wait To See category with their rematch against Florida. It should be a good match-up though some would argue that the game against Cal, and the possible showdown with North Carolina, are much more intriguing.
But let's get down to it. Where is Syracuse "ranked" in the Big East. According to ESPN, despite the constant harping that the Orange will have trouble replacing The Unholy Trinity and all the unknowns, they're still the fifth best team in the conference.
Much of Syracuse's hope seems to hinge upon the play of Wesley Johnson, and he is the real thing. But the key will be getting really good guard play to go along with the interior strength of the Orange. Replacing the 45 points per game of Jonny Flynn, Eric Devendorf and Paul Harris won't be easy, but Jim Boeheim likes his team, and he is consistently the best mood ring for Orange predictions.
As Boeheim goes, so go the Orange.
Oh and in case you were wondering, we're an 8-seed in Bracketology. Expectations...they have been squashed.