Somehow, it's been a solid 10 years since Syracuse went on its magical run and cut down the nets in New Orleans. And like every true fan, I find myself constantly reminiscing about the glory days.
Duke, Florida State, Maryland and Pittsburgh are among the women's basketball teams who will visit the Carrier Dome next season.
"It's not too different," he said. "It's been pretty smooth as far as our practices here and our practices at Syracuse. I think they're pretty similar. We move faster. We do things a little more efficiently, I'd like to think, because of the caliber of player we have here and the coaches. Obviously, it's a step up.
Shafer's 2013 recruiting class, an exercise in patchwork and ferocity, featured 19 commits. The majority of those players are a few weeks away from joining the team in June and July, and several of them appear capable of seeing the field right away. Some of their fellow classmates that arrived in January and participated in spring football could do the same.
"That's when they first talked to Dewayne Hendrix and saw him," O'Fallon head coach Brandon Joggerst said. "They offered him right there."
The biggest losses are on the defensive end, where the Orange will lose two close defensemen, but there are multiple players who saw relevant playing time along the backline this year that will be asked to step up.
The senior Gulley, who finished second on the team last season with 833 rushing yards and scored a team-leading nine touchdowns, was one of three players who sat out spring practice but found themselves high on Scott Shafer's first post-spring depth chart.
Syracuse running back Jerome Smith received a retroactive medical redshirt. Smith played two games in his freshman season before being sidelined with an injury to his left shoulder.
Fifth-year senior Lauren Penney, sophomore Donald Pollitt and freshman Brianna Nerud will represent the Orange in the national competition in Eugene, Ore., from June 5-8.
The Orange started off the season with an overtime loss and ended up in a National Championship. There were plenty of highlights this season and then a couple lowlights on the road to Philadelphia. CitrusTV's Heather Prusak and Gabe Altieri breakdown SU's 2013 season from Lincoln Financial Field.