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Surprising Sweet 16 run hints at bright future for Syracuse

The Orange showed what they can do without health or depth — what happens when more talent arrives?

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Syracuse vs Duke Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017-18 season complete, we can start turning an eye toward what’s on the horizon for the Syracuse Orange next year. If everyone stays, or even if Tyus Battle decides to test the NBA waters, there’s a lot to like about SU’s potential after a surprising Sweet 16 run.

At both the local and national level, media’s already looking at Syracuse’s near-term future with quite a bit of optimism -- and we are, too. We’ll just have our articles about that between Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Your daily links below:

Top freshmen, added depth have Syracuse on the upswing for 2018-19 (

The 2017-18 season was a rocky one at Syracuse, where a team with little experience and few consistent scoring options struggled to find its groove. There were a few good wins along the way, but some ugly losses, too, and that summed up the state of the Orange. The question is whether a year of growing pains and an influx of freshman talent can right the ship for 2018-19.

2018-19 Syracuse basketball has chance to be near top of ACC, contend for national title (

Syracuse could return all of its players, though that actually remains to be seen. In addition to bringing back the core group from this year’s team, Boeheim will add three freshmen, a transfer and, hopefully, get his injured and walking wounded back to full health. It all points to a potentially powerful team for the 2018-19 season.

Syracuse basketball’s Sweet 16 run put NCAA sanctions in past, set bar for future (

“I think Jim and his staff have done a remarkable job,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said in Omaha. “The penalties were severe. Let’s face it, they hurt us. They hurt recruiting. We couldn’t have guys out recruiting. They did what they intended to do. They hurt our program. But we persevered through it.”

Syracuse QB Rex Culpepper diagnosed with treatable form of testicular cancer (CBSSports)

“The good news is, my situation is very treatable,” Culpepper wrote in the post. “I will have to undergo an extensive, 10-week chemotherapy cycle both in Tampa and in Syracuse. To those that have reached out, I thank you, your support has been paramount. I am deeply thankful to my family, close friends and teammates as well, because no doubt I’ll be leaning on you through this.”

Duke shakes Syracuse, but Orange refuse to go quietly (The Athletic)

As it has all season, and never more so than in March, Syracuse’s length bothered Duke, in ways both real and residual. After a few blocks, Bagley and Carter, as dominant a frontcourt duo as exists in the college game, started ball-faking more often. Even when they found space in the heart of Syracuse’s vaunted zone, they would themselves short-arm shots, hesitating just so, as Orange center Paschal Chukwu and Co. lingered.

Syracuse’s 3-win, 5-day NCAA Tournament run redefined its season (Daily Orange)

Syracuse proves it belonged, but that doesn’t ease the pain (New York Post)

Will Nolan turn out to be the best of the Cooney “brothers”? (

Week two of Syracuse football spring practice might have answered why Syracuse was willing to hand out Riley Dixon’s No. 92 so soon. Sterling Hofrichter’s already hoping for some fakes from Nolan Cooney. also looks back at the 2017-18 season in this video: