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Syracuse in discussions with Nike on new apparel deal (that hopefully means new stuff)

Let’s get better merch!

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North Carolina State v Syracuse

One of Syracuse Orange fans’ biggest frustrations with supporting the team is with regard to SU’s relationship with Nike.

It’s not that fans have an issue with Nike itself, of course. But the benefits of the long-term partner have rarely seemed as apparent to those most willing to buy both tickets and merchandise. We have monthly conversations here about how SU should return to the script logo across nearly all sports (maybe football excepted). And how Syracuse needs new uniforms (especially in football). And how the merchandise is middling at best.

For many schools affiliated with Nike or their competitors, this isn’t the case. With luck, these frustrations won’t be the case for the Orange much longer — if discussions between Nike and athletic director John Wildhack progress as planned.

On Syracuse.com today, the conversation between the two entities was referred to as “productive,” which is a good sign we’ll be back with the swoosh in some capacity (Jordan brand’s probably a stretch, but you never know). No word on just how lucrative a deal this would be or what merch we’d get out of it. But at least we’re getting something new out of it, probably.

More on that, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Syracuse University AD John Wildhack says talks with Nike have been ‘productive’ (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse University’s apparel contract with Nike is set to run out at the end of the athletic year and athletic director John Wildhack said the school continues to have “productive” talks with the company. Wildhack said the school is not currently engaged in conversations with any other sports apparel company. Widhack has said previously that the school would likely have an announcement regarding its apparel deal in the Fall.

Elite 2019 forward Isaiah Stewart ‘loved’ his Syracuse basketball visit (Syracuse.com)

“He loved it. He had a blast,” said Kevan Sheppard, Stewart’s Albany City Rocks coach who lives in Rochester and has known Stewart and his family for years. “There are a lot of ex-City Rocks guys on the team and he talked to them a lot. It went really well. He was very excited about it.”

Syracuse basketball will benefit from ‘anomaly’ of returning all 5 starters (Syracuse.com)

An anomaly. That’s how ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas described the return of all five starters for the Syracuse Orange basketball team. ”That used to be the norm when you’d have guys come back and stay for four years,’’ Bilas said. “But now, it’s an anomaly. For a variety of reasons, players going to the NBA early, more guys transferring, it just doesn’t happen anymore.’’

Defensive Line Key to Stopping Syracuse’s Dual-Threat QB (Inside Carolina)

Similar play will be required this weekend against Dungey, who has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,208 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions in Dino Babers’ up-tempo spread offense. On throws of 20 yards or more, the 6-foot-4, 226-pound senior is 11-of-24 for 366 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. That’s 33.3 yards per completion and 15.3 yards per attempt, both quality averages for deep throws.

College basketball rankings: The top 100 (and one) best players for the 2018-19 season (CBS Sports)

10. Tyus Battle | Syracuse | Junior | Guard: If you’re wondering where the line of demarcation between is between the best possible NBA prospect and returning college player for 2018-19, Battle’s it. He arguably could have gone in the top 40 of the 2018 NBA Draft but instead chose to return to Cuse, making the Orange a top 25 team in the process.

PODCAST AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY: Virginia, NC State, and what the heck is “momentum”? (SB Nation)

Former Syracuse star Michael Gbinije will play in the G-League next year (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse WBB to play Texas A&M in two-game series (LocalSYR)

247Sports Midseason True Freshman All-American Team (247Sports)

Tyus Battle named candidate for Jerry West Award for top shooting guard (Daily Orange)

Film Breakdown: What Michael Carter-Williams brings to the table (The Athletic)