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TNIAAM's 2015-16 Syracuse Basketball Predictions & Poll

The 2015-16 men's basketball season begins tonight. It's time to share our predictions.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse men's basketball team begins its season tonight against Lehigh. The Orange and Mountain Hawks are set to tip off at 7 p.m. inside the Carrier Dome.

After last season's team finished just 18-13, expectations aren't as high for the Orange as they have been in years past. But there's still a lot to be excited about with this team, and it's nice to know that it'll at least be eligible for the NCAA Tournament this year.

The TNIAAM staff members each made their own guesses at how the team will do this season, which you can see below. And after that, let us know how you think the team will do in our poll.

Sean Keeley

Record: 22-9 (11-7 Atlantic Coast Conference)

ACC Tournament: No. 6 seed, loss in semifinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 6 seed, Round of 32

I feel like when you look at the schedule there are games that Syracuse is very obviously going to lose but there are a lot of games that seem like theirs for the taking, especially if people underestimate our offensive ability this year. We won't be world-beaters but I don't think we'll be as bas as last season. If nothing else, we'll push the tempo and shot output more than in year's past. You never know with the ACC Tournament so maybe we'll make a mini-run. As for the NCAA Tournament, usually I feel like it's Sweet Sixteen or Bust for SU but this season it's just about getting back in there and getting back on track as a program.

Andrew Pregler

Record: 20-11 (9-9)

ACC Tournament: No. 6 seed

NCAA Tournament: No. 5 seed

I'm pretty much on line with KenPom's predictions on the team. I think there will be growing pains against poor teams (and good teams) as the young guys learn how to shoot effectively, feel out space, etc. The lack of forward depth will hurt once conference play picks up, but I don't think all of these mitigating factors take away from two facts. 1) This is a really talented team and more often than not, talented teams win. 2) The zone with these athletes will be as good as we've seen in in past years. We'll draw the dreaded 5-12 matchup and see if the cards fall the Orange's way.

Andrew Carey

Record: 21-10 (10-8)

ACC Tournament: No. 6 seed, loss in championship

NCAA Tournament: No. 5 seed, Elite 8

I think that the youth on this team will be very fun to watch this year. They obviously have a bunch of guys that really have not seen meaningful minutes out there. This will result in some stuggles, but I really think this team has a chance to be very good. Hopefully the threes are falling, because you could see the Orange shoot their way to some victories over teams that we would not necessarily expect them to beat. I think that as long as they make a decent run in the ACC Tournament, everything will pan out as expected and they will end up back in the NCAA Tournament. Don't be surprised if they win the Battle 4 Atlantis. They are notorious for playing well in these preseason tournaments. I also think that over these final Boeheim seasons we will see the teams playing extra hard in the NCAA tourney, trying to get him another crack at a National Championship.

John Cassillo

Record: 22-9 (11-7)

ACC Tournament: No. 5 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 7 seed, Round of 32

Syracuse will win a bunch of games looking at this schedule, but they're just not on the same level as the ACC's elite (particularly, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia). That hurts them in terms of quality victories, as well as NCAA Tournament seeding, as the only things they can really hang their proverbial hats on are wins over UConn and Georgetown. It's a promising young group, however. And one that finds a way to be consistently entertaining all season, even in defeat. Prepare for a bright future (if the kids stick around following on fairly successful season with the Orange).

Dan Lyons

Record: 21-10 (10-8)

ACC Tournament: No. 6 seed, loss in semifinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 5 seed, Sweet 16

This is going to be a very different, new-look Syracuse team, and I couldn't be more excited. After a few years of slow, plodding, and yes, sometimes very effective basketball, Boeheim and the staff are all in on modern small ball. Even then, we have more length than 95% of college teams, and while shooting 38% from three against Le Moyne doesn't mean we're going to turn into Doug McDermott's Creighton teams, I do think this squad has enough options to put up big numbers most nights. Our defense will probably be down when compared to what we're used to, and we'll have two or three nights where everyone goes cold, but I expect this to be a competitive team, and one of the most fun in the ACC.

Kenny Lacy

Record: 23-8 (12-6)

ACC Tournament: No. 4 seed, loss in semifinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 4 seed, Elite 8

Maybe I'm just overly optimistic, but with this year's recruiting class plus the return of key players from last year, I really believe that this team has the chance to do something special. The fact that everyone is overlooking Syracuse just makes it better because Syracuse always seems to have their best seasons when no one is talking about them so I do not believe this season will be any different. While the ACC will be tough, I believe that Syracuse will be one of those tough teams. When it comes to the ACC Tournament I have the Orange going as far as the semifinals, but if Syracuse were to run the table and get to finals that would not shock me. And inside of the NCAA Tournament it is all about matchups and with Syracuse's length on defense and if the new look offense works, there is no reason to believe that this team does not have the chance to be one of the last eight teams standing.

Kevin Wall

Record: 21-10 (11-7)

ACC Tournament: No. 5 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 6 seed, Sweet 16

I think there is enough on offense to help carry Syracuse to wins against teams that will struggle to get 70 points. People talk about the youth on the team, but Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije are two of the more experienced players in the ACC and I look for them to lead this squad. Don't be shocked if SU drops 2 games in the Battle 4 Atlantis, but I think as we reach the ACC, the young guys will be more than ready to go. Predicting the postseason tournaments is always a crapshoot, but Syracuse has the look of a team that will present match-up challenges for many opponents.

Brian Tahmosh

Record: 21-10 (11-7)

ACC Tournament: No. 5 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 8 seed, Sweet 16

I think this is a good but not great Syracuse team. They're hopefully going to score some more points with the abundance of shooters stretching the floor, but if they live by the three, they're going to die by the three sometimes too. Ultimately, I think the top teams in the ACC will lock down on SU's shooters, resulting in a resume that has a lot of wins, but not a lot of quality wins to go with it. So while 21 wins often means better than an 8 seed, the resume won't be as nice when you dig into it. But here's the fun part, teams that rely on the three can go either way in the NCAA Tournament, and I'll project they put it together for one heck of an upset over a #1 seeded Gonzaga. Yes, I pick SU to upset an overseeded Gonzaga every year. It will happen someday!

Nick Petraccione

Record: 21-10 (10-8)

ACC Tournament: No. 6 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 7 seed, Sweet 16

As it's been mentioned before, Syracuse is a young team and along with that youth comes growing pains. There will be a couple Cardiac 'Cuse moments early in the season that we all know too well, and probably a few more late when tournament seeding is at stake. Syracuse should rack up a lot of wins this season, but the only thing that concerns me is the quality of those wins. There are not too many staple victories I can see Syracuse having in this year's schedule, which will hurt their seeding. However, Syracuse always seems to kick it into high gear in the postseason so maybe we will get a few surprises. This team has a lot of potential, especially if some young guns stick around for a couple years.

James Szuba

Record: 19-12 (9-9)

ACC Tournament: No. 8 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 10 seed, Round of 32

This year's team will be a thrill to watch offensively, but rebounding will prove to be a weakness as the season wears on. Syracuse will struggle to rebound in the ACC giving up a lot of second chance points. A lack of rebounding and second chance points will result in more fouls to an already limited center spot. This Syracuse team will be better than last year's, but the ACC is even deeper and stronger than a season ago. 20 wins (19 regular season wins plus one in the ACC Tournament) will be enough to get an at-large bid in America's best conference, but 20 wins doesn't guarantee a spot in the tournament anymore. Syracuse should be among the leaders in SOS, but will need help from the favorites in their conference tournaments. Ultimately I think Syracuse will be a tournament team and will be good enough for a first round upset.

Michael Burke

Record: 21-10 (10-8)

ACC Tournament: No. 7 seed, loss in quarterfinals

NCAA Tournament: No. 7 seed, Round of 32

Those are my predictions, but I really don't have much of a clue of what to expect. There are so many unknowns with this team and questions we need answered. Will Dajuan Coleman be healthy and productive? Is Kaleb Joseph as improved as Jim Boeheim says? Is Malachi Richardson as good as he looked in the exhibitions? Will the other freshmen make legitimate contributions?

If the answer to most of those questions is yes, this should be a pretty solid team. At the least, the Orange are going to be exciting to watch, thanks to the number of 3s they'll be taking. And even if they're not quite a top-25 team, Syracuse will certainly be capable of making a deep postseason run -- its shooters would just need to get and stay hot at the right time.

Your turn!