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Syracuse basketball mailbag: NCAA odds, student section & recruiting

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NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Clemson
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim looks on during the second half against the Clemson Tigers as Littlejohn Coliseum. Orange won 82-81.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Once a week here at TNIAAM, we’ll now be doing a Syracuse basketball mailbag. While we come up with our own story ideas a lot of the time, this place thrives on feedback from all of you. So instead of relegating your questions to the comments, we though this could be a place to feature the best questions around Orange hoops.

You can ask a question by either commenting below for the following week’s article, or tweet us at @NunesMagician or @cusesigel. We’ll try to get to as many questions as possible each week.

Is it true that Syracuse hasn’t offered 2017 prospect Chris Duarte yet? That was surprising to see. (@Orangeskin)

To my knowledge, this is true. I’ve talked with someone close to Chris for the past few weeks, and they continue to believe an offer hasn’t been extended. Maybe Syracuse is waiting to see what Eric Ayala will end up doing, but Duarte is a solid prospect that seems to be waiting around for the offer.

Are there any other potential 2017 recruits other than Eric Ayala? (@brandon1buckman)

Like I stated in the previous question, Chris Duarte is an intriguing prospect that Syracuse is very interested in. Also, Howard Washington Jr. is a very solid three-to-four year point guard prospect. He currently plays on Athlete Institute with 2017 signee Oshae Brissett.

How does the future of Syracuse look over the next five years or so? Any chance it gets back to the late 2000s and early 2010s glory? (fgcu315)

This is hard to say from a bunch of different viewpoints. As of right now, I’d say no. There’s so much parity in college basketball, and those 34-3 seasons and dominating performances are few and far between now. Recruiting will have to step up a notch, especially in the 2018 class. If Syracuse can land prospects like Naz Reid and Cam Reddish, then I’d say there could be another dominant few years. But again, it’s extremely difficult to say what will happen.

I believe the transition from Boeheim to Hopkins will be smooth, but it’s hard to imagine Hop dominating in his first few seasons as head coach. That’s nothing against him, but there will be an adjustment period.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Virginia vs Syracuse Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

For being a top program, why do we have one of the worst student sections in the country? So quiet and no team fears it. (@cuse_zone)

I’ve often wondered about the student myself. Having been at the Dome to cover countless games, going with my own ticket and having sat in the student section before — it’s really not all that great. I know Syracuse alumni and current students aren’t going to like that answer, but it’s true.

I think it starts with their placement and how far they are from the court. Not to mention during bigger games, SU puts a bunch of students in the 300 section above the 100 level students. It doesn’t have the same impact as other big programs’ student sections.

How do you fix that? I don’t know. You can’t move the student section because it would mess up season tickets. I guess you just have to bite the bullet on one (less prominent student section) or the other (enraging season ticket holders).

Our chances of making the Tournament are kind of slim now, no? (@evh24)

Monday’s loss didn’t help, but it’s also a game that I don’t think Syracuse can go into expecting to win. They were 3.5-point underdogs. As for moving forward — four games remaining, two against ranked opponents and SU has a chance to land a signature road victory. We can go through each scenario 100 times and still not know for sure what the committee will be thinking. Syracuse still controls its own destiny. 16-11 with four to play plus the ACC Tournament. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely an uphill battle.

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