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Syracuse men’s basketball’s Tyus Battle named ESPN preseason All-American

The orange shooting guard is on everyone’s radar this season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round- Michigan State Spartans vs Syracuse Orange Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We’re a week away from the Syracuse Orange men’s and women’s basketball seasons’ respective tipoffs. And while we’ve been previewing the men’s hoops season for the last couple weeks (seriously, catch up if you’ve been missing James’s work there), other outlets have also been hard at work doing the same.

One of those is obviously ESPN, which today named its preseason All-American squad. Among the names on the list: Syracuse’s Tyus Battle.

Since he announced his return to the Orange after flirting with the NBA Draft, Battle’s been a favorite of college basketball media, and SU has also seen its profile increase for this season. Battle scored 19.2 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting last year, and also averaged 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Of course, all of that was also with the caveat that he played more minutes (on average) than any player in the country.

With a deeper rotation, that should no longer be the case — hopefully! — but we’ll see if the decrease in minutes means a decrease in raw numbers. Battle had to do a lot by himself last year in terms of scoring, so he turned into a less efficient “volume” player. With a stronger supporting cast in 2018-19, a more efficient Batlte could really be onto something.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse links below:

ESPN’s college basketball preseason All-American team (ESPN)

So maybe Battle doesn’t play 40 minutes or shoot 16 times every night. Some of the pressure will be taken off his shoulders, and his efficiency could move closer to his freshman season, a campaign that drew statistical comparisons to the likes of Gary Harris, Aaron Harrison and Jodie Meeks at KenPom.com. Bottom line, Battle will be the focal point of the offense on a team that should be in the top 15-20 all season long.

Syracuse’s basketball shooting woes should be a thing of the past (Syracuse.com)

This season, with a robust roster (once its point guards return) and its bountiful scoring options, Syracuse promises to be better on the offensive end. The improvement needs to come in all areas. Syracuse’s performance on 2-point shots last season was particularly problematic. The Orange shot just 58.3 percent as a team at the rim, according to hoopmath.com.

Jalen Carey, Howard Washington near return for Syracuse basketball (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse guards Jalen Carey and Howard Washington are making progress toward returning from injuries, but their status for the Orange’s exhibition game against Le Moyne on Wednesday remains uncertain. Carey and Washington both missed Syracuse’s exhibition game against College of Saint Rose last Thursday.

Dino Babers: ‘Journey’ not over after Syracuse football ends bowl, ranking drought (Syracuse.com)

“I don’t think that necessarily we are exactly where we need to be,” Babers said Monday morning at his weekly press conference. “There’s room for improvement. The team understands that. The coaches understand that, and we need to be desperately seeking that improvement. “I don’t think anyone is settled. I don’t think we’re happy where we’re at, and I really mean that. I think there are guys still working to get the job done because there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Putting the 16 teams with a realistic shot at winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament title into tiers (CBS Sports)

I haven’t been bullish on Syracuse teams in the preseason over the past five or six years, but I’m very in on this group. Jim Boeheim’s brought back his most important pieces -- and now he’s a bit ticked off that Darius Bazley reneged on his SU commitment to, ultimately, get paid by LeBron James’ agency and wait out this season ahead of the 2019 draft.

College baskebtall’s best backcourts (NBC Sports)

How do basketball teams prepare for the Carrier Dome? We asked ACC guys (Syracuse.com)

The ACC Defense of the Week from Week 9 (Pro Football Focus)

Good luck to the NBA’s G League attracting top high school players (Daily Press)

7 things that stand out in KenPom’s preseason college basketball rankings (NCAA.com)

Why does UVA keep losing in the NCAA tournament after succeeding in the ACC tournament? (Streaking the Lawn)