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Syracuse backcourt injuries make for lineup questions in exhibition game

The Orange are down three guards for this one, which makes for an interesting rotation.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Syracuse vs Duke Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

While the regular season remains a couple weeks away, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team does hit the court this Thursday, in an exhibition game against Division II Saint Rose at the Carrier Dome.

These games are rarely more than a tune-up. And even when we occasionally lose to crosstown LeMoyne, it ends up sparking a full-time switch to the 2-3 zone that catapults the Orange into its winningest stretch in program history. So yeah, pretty much any result will be fine.

One caveat this year, though, is that Syracuse won’t have its full lineup ready to go in the exhibition. In fact, the shortage comes at a familiar trouble spot: guard, where Syracuse had to play walk-on Braedon Bayer in the NCAA Tournament after Frank Howard fouled out against Michigan State. However, this year, with three guards injured, they’re at least a bit more prepared.

Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota discussed the injuries to Howard, Howard Washington and Jalen Carey — all point guards — and the decisions that will force on Jim Boeheim come Thursday. Tyus Battle will likely run point. It should give ample minutes to Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes, with the forwards all largely healthy (we’ll see on Bourama Sidibe).

More than anything, it’ll be unique to see how Boeheim manages the lineup given the unique circumstances. Let’s just hope these injuries don’t stretch into the season too far, especially with a trip to Madison Square Garden coming up in mid-November.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Syracuse basketball’s trio of injured point guards: Who plays on Thursday? (Syracuse.com)

His ankle, he said, swelled to the size of an orange. He’d never seen it that size. “Actually, it was pretty serious,” Carey said. “I’m lucky I didn’t break anything. Just the amount of pain I was in. I just never twisted my ankle like that before, so it was something new to me. A lot of people said I screamed. I don’t remember that.”

Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito wasn’t only freshman to shine vs. UNC (Syracuse.com)

The biggest takeaway from DeVito’s performance that wasn’t as clear in the moment is his trust in his wide receivers and the timing of passing plays. He consistently released the football earlier in routes than Dungey, so much so that his receivers weren’t always ready. ”I was confident with the guys around me,” DeVito said after the game. “They were really inspiring.”

Dino Babers’ ideal ending to Syracuse football QB situation is one he’s seen before (Syracuse.com)

Babers didn’t know he’d be in a position to possibly play two quarterbacks this season -- when no one is injured -- but he has had an idea on how he would reckon with such a decision as he evaluates a position that requires intelligence and wisdom as much as arm strength and athleticism to succeed in his offense. ”The big thing about that Arizona team,” Babers said back in the spring, “was both of the quarterbacks had a lot of experience, so when you rotated them the ball didn’t stop moving.

Ottothon will fundraise for children in hospitals in 12-hour dance marathon (Daily Orange)

Next weekend, members of Ottothon, SU students and community members will kick off the fifth annual dance marathon fundraiser. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, hundreds of people will dance for 12 consecutive hours in an effort to meet this year’s fundraising goal of $200,000.

10 things to watch for in ACC basketball (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense seems to have given it a significant edge during the NCAA Tournament in recent years, and this year’s version could be the best Jim Boeheim has put on the floor in his 43 years. The Orange finished last season ranked No. 5 in defensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy, the best ranking since the basketball statistician began calculating stats in 2002.

Week 8 ACC team of the week (Pro Football Focus)

After nearly quitting, Christina Oyawale uses volleyball to form legacy (Daily Orange)

2018 Virginia Basketball Countdown: The ACC in the NCAA tournament (Streaking the Lawn)

Purdue’s Edwards headlines preseason AP All-America team (NBC Sports)

Syracuse has found a pipeline in an Ontario Juniors club (Daily Orange)