The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team opens up the 2018-19 season against the Eastern Washington Eagles, and the expectations are high for the home team Tuesday night. With all of their impact players from last year returning, the Orange are looked at as one of the true contenders in the ACC this year, and it all starts with their out-of-conference performances.
This game tips off at 7 p.m. ET on the ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN), as the Orange will look to get this highly anticipated season off to a hot start.
So, the question you’ve all been asking: what does the TNIAAM team think will happen in the opener?
Syracuse 83, Eastern Washington 49
The Orange won’t have much resistance in front of them in attempting to post their highest regulation point total since the beginning of last season. With Jalen Carey marked in to play and the shooting Buddy Boeheim and Elijiah Hughes flashed in the preseason, Syracuse has the tools to turn in its most efficient night in recent memory against a sub-par opponent. Rust, early-season mistakes and an infusion of young players getting minutes for the first time could devolve into struggles in the first half, but SU likely rides an overwhelming second-half burst to a 25+ point victory.
Syracuse 81, Eastern Washington 65
The Orange have added perimeter shooting and depth to their roster in comparison to last year, and that will be the difference maker in this one. Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett will set the tone early with a few “pro” moves, but it’ll be Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim who separate the Orange from the Eagles with a few dagger deep balls.
Syracuse 73, Eastern Washington 62
The Eagles almost made the NCAA Tournament last year, but they lost their top scorer and don’t return anyone who averaged double digits. I think Syracuse will use a balanced attack and won’t suffer too much from playing without a healthy PG. The Orange defense should be able to control the tempo and get the season started on a strong note.
Syracuse 85, Eastern Washington 50
EWU had only one scorer in double-digits last season and he’s since graduated. I fully expect this one to be a blowout even given the current situation at point guard for Syracuse. Expect the Orange to be able to score at will and look for them to impose their will on the defensive end. The Eagles aren’t as big as Syracuse up front, so I expect SU to control the rebounding effort as well.
Syracuse 70, Eastern Washington 51
If this was the first game Syracuse was short all of their point guards, I’d say maybe the offense struggles a bit more. But they spent the two exhibitions with Tyus Battle at the one already, and EWU’s defense isn’t exactly stellar (195th per KenPom). The Orange use their height advantage and some creative lineups to score win No. 1 on the year in a game that’s wrapped up with about 10 minutes remaining.
Who will win the Syracuse vs. Eastern Washington game?
This poll is closed
The Orange, and the fans are talking Final Four already!
Eastern Washington, and we all get a little humbled early into the season