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ACC eyes potentially record-setting NBA Draft in 2019

Just how many conference players could go in the first round next June?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round: Syracuse Orange vs TCU Horned Frogs Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, it’s football season. But the Syracuse Orange basketball season is right around the corner and it should be another competitive one in the ACC.

That success should also lend to quite a few draft picks for the conference, as Syracuse.com’s Mike Waters discussed on Friday.

Looking at the most recent ESPN mock draft, there are nine ACC players slated to be picked in round one, plus a few in the earlier parts of round two. As we know, draft status moves quite a bit between now and the combine (or even the end of the season to the combine). The record for one conference is 10 — so there’s a shot the ACC could tie or break that mark (already set by the league in 2017) in 2019.

Definitely read Waters’s full rundown of the prospects, but the important numbers for you are the Syracuse players. The Orange’s Tyus Battle is projected 29th (to San Antonio — which is actually a really good fit). Oshae Brissett is slotted in at No. 35, to the Nets, which is also a good fit given that team’s youth movement.

That number is in line with where Battle was this past year, so hopefully he’s able to improve his stock a bit and become more efficient as a junior at SU. We’re glad he’s on campus, obviously, but one would think if you’re getting picked in the same spot no matter what, might as well go a year earlier and get paid.

For Brissett, he has a lot more upside in this specific draft and he’s received previous mentions in the first round. If he can improve his ability to finish at the rim and maybe add a couple points to that three-point percentage, it would seem likely he vaults up.

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

In 2019 NBA draft could ACC break its own record for first-round picks? (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse guard Tyus Battle entered his name in the 2018 draft. He received an invite to the NBA combine. But he ultimately decided to return to school for his junior year. If Battle can improve his draft stock and work his way into the first round, his decision will look good. Givony has Battle going to the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 29 pick.

Syracuse to Honor 1996-98 BIG EAST Championship Teams (Cuse.com)

Members of the Orange’s 1996, 1997 and 1998 BIG EAST championship teams are returning to Syracuse to celebrate their run of three straight conference titles, as well as the 20th anniversary of the 1998 squad that earned a berth in the Orange Bowl and finished No. 15 in the inaugural BCS standings.

Faithfully: Kielan Whitner relies on religion throughout circuitous path to starting role at Syracuse (Daily Orange)

In Whitner’s freshman season at SU in 2015, he led all freshmen with 33 tackles. He entered 2016 fall camp as the starting strong safety, but finished the year with only three starts. In 2017, he switched positions to outside linebacker before moving back to safety in a supplemental role, tallying eight tackles on the season. This year, the senior is slotted as the starting weakside linebacker, his third position in four years.

5 reasons Syracuse football will beat Western Michigan, 5 reasons WMU will upset SU (Syracuse.com)

But, it appears, Butler will see a dramatic uptick in targets over the course of the year. The team’s game plan may shift week to week based on opponent, but if Butler is to replicate the production of Amba Etta-Tawo and Steve Ishmael, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that start against the Broncos (and possibly his former teammate, Dowels).

Redemption: Alton Robinson faced up to 20 years in prison on a robbery charge. Now, he’s gearing up for a season leading the Orange’s defense. (Daily Orange)

When he arrived on the Syracuse University campus during August 2017, there was no guarantee that he would ever step foot in the Carrier Dome to play football. He’d bet on an open promise, something that had failed him many times before. “Adversity is going to come. You’ve got to play through it,” Robinson said. “Can’t nobody stop you but yourself.”

Growing up: Evan Foster’s physical transformation in high school brought him to SU. He’s hoping a similar jump gets him to the NFL. (Daily Orange)

Report: Rockets Have Carmelo Anthony as Excited as He’s Ever Been Before Season (Bleacher Report)

‘Age is relative:’ As youngest FBS head coach, Oak Lawn’s Sean Lewis will make his debut against Illinoi (Chicago Tribune)

Instant analysis: Final auditions as starters sit (Giants.com)