Syracuse Basketball: Return Of The No-Go-To-Guy Team?

Nate Shron - Getty Images

Just because Hubert Davis is no longer peddling his trade during ESPN halftimes, that doesn't mean you shouldn't expect to hear the same old story this season when it comes to Syracuse Orange basketball.

Just because Hubert Davis is no longer peddling his trade during ESPN halftimes, that doesn't mean you shouldn't expect to hear the same old story this season when it comes to Syracuse Orange basketball.

If early indicators tell us anything, it's that everyone expects Syracuse to be very good and very few people seem think Syracuse has a go-to guy on the roster.

The CBS Sports folks have chimed in and they've all got the Orange near the top of the Big East picks. Matt Norlander and Doug Gottlieb (!!!) have picked the Orange to win the Big East while the other three picked Louisville. None of them picked SU to make it to the Final Four.

They also all got together and ranked the Top 100 College Basketball Players and among them, found room for only one Syracuse player. That player? Michael Carter-Williams.

MC Dubz? Over C.J. Fair? Over Brandon Triche? Hell, over Rakeem Christmas?

No Syracuse players made the All-American or All-Freshmen teams either.

No knock on Dubz, it's just a curious situation. Clearly, they're picking on potential. But that's really interesting that Fair's potential or Triche's "time to shine" doesn't make the list. I'm not saying they're wrong to go with MCW but I think it's telling of what people think of the Orange yet again.

Great team, no stars.

I feel like this Syracuse team is loaded with multiple guys who are ready to make The Leap this year and therein lies the confusion. Will C.J. Fair suddenly score 15 points per game consistently? Will Rakeem Christmas take a cue from Fab Melo and become a dominant defender? Will MC-Dubz make good on these supremely-high expectations? Will James Southerland come into his own, finally? Lots of opportunities for a lot of guys to define themselves this year.

Meanwhile, Athlon Sports has SU as No. 5 in their preseason rankings. They too call out the emergence of youth as a key factor that will drive this team:

The Orange have enough experience in Triche, Fair, Southerland and Christmas, but the big keys will be two of the team’s younger players. If Carter-Williams can handle the point and Coleman can step in and contribute in the middle, the Orange could emerge as a Final Four contender.

It's one of those things that SU fans should be happy to get nitpicky about. Better to be thought a Top Ten program with no go-to guy than to be thought a mediocre program with one star.

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