Coleman’s status is still day-to-day with the Orange’s next game against No. 23 Pittsburgh on Saturday. "I’m hoping that he, this week, gets better and that we can use him," SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. "That’s what I’m hoping for, but we’ll see what happens."
Syracuse is close behind Arizona and Wisconsin in terms of amount of high-leverage game time accumulated. Their matchup this season with the highest leverage was on a neutral floor against Minnesota in November, when they started with an initial win probability of 46.5%. That contest featured over 21 minutes of high-leverage basketball. Because of the incredibly lopsided runs both ways in the Orange's victory over Villanova last month, only seven of the forty minutes in that game registered as high-leverage. Syracuse has played the weakest schedule thus far of the undefeated squads, though that will change as ACC play continues.
The bigger picture suggests Syracuse is getting traction for highly-coveted athletes after Year One of the ACC. It appears Syracuse is his leader in the clubhouse with three weeks to go. It’s the only official visit he has scheduled at the moment. He has size at 6’5″, 200 lbs. and Orange fans are all acutely aware of the constant need for playmakers inside this offense and the ACC. He’s best buddies with Brisly Estime.
In a few days, Scott Shafer will try to add the finishing touches to his first real recruiting class as head coach. Some of the best talent arguably is still on the table for Syracuse to scoop up. Will SU take the next step in recruiting by locking up sought-after recruits or struggle to make progress?
"I am somebody who tries to be the same person in private as in public, and that means setting the right tone in every interaction and in everything I do. That’s a little hard because I don’t know the place fully yet, but I’m working on it," he said. "It’s a work in progress."
In most ways, the Orange do not resemble Wisconsin. They play zone while Wisconsin plays exclusively man; they have much longer athletes and actually try to force turnovers; and they're content to let opponents launch threes, while the Badgers try to prevent them. But Syracuse has nearly the same efficiency profile, pairing a high-powered offense (No. 6) with an elite defense (No. 14). And while a freshman point guard can be a red flag, Tyler Ennis has been so remarkably good -- like, better than Michael Carter-Williams good -- in big games that I'm inclined to trust the young Canadian in the NCAA tournament.
"(Athletic Director) Daryl (Gross) is extremely pleased with Coach Shafer and his staff and expects them to be here for a long time."
"The teams the ACC picked, the ones they went after, I think their mission was to get the best basketball teams they could," Dixon said. "And Syracuse and us, I think we were one in the last 10 years by a pretty good margin and they were 2, so I think there was a plan that they would try to get some teams that had won before."
"It's like, you guys don't decide where the radio station is going," Boeheim said. "I don't decide where Syracuse (University) is going. That's way out of my league."
Syracuse—Record: 16-0. Rankings: RPI 7, Pomeroy 3. Need to know: Syracuse has nine wins against teams in the RPI top 100. The Orange face fellow ACC newbie Pittsburgh in the Carrier Dome on Saturday in what promises to be a battle for first place in the conference.