Teams: Syracuse Orange (0-0) vs. Carleton College (0-0)
Day & Time: Tuesday, October 29, 8 p.m. ET
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra. For those unfamiliar, ACCNX can be accessed through Watch ESPN by logging in through your cable provider.
Radio: TK 99/105
First/Last Meeting: This is the third meeting between Syracuse and Carleton College. Syracuse won the previous meeting 88-76 on November 2nd, 2014, as well as the first meeting in 2013, by a final score of 69-65.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (44th year; 1,045-379) | Carleton - Taffe Charles (1st year; 0-0)
Coach Bio: Charles is entering his first season as head coach of the Carleton men’s basketball team after watching 14-time national champion coach Dave Smart take the Director of Basketball Operations position for the school.
But don’t let Charles’ inexperience fool you. Charles has been in charge of the women’s team for the past 12 seasons, and led them to their best season ever last year. They went undefeated, 29-0, including capturing the national championship. The women’s team held opponent’s to a record-low 45.9 points per game, so we’ll see how his defensive mind matches up against the Syracuse offense.
Last Year: While ‘Cuse won 20 games, the season was ultimately underwhelming based on expectations and preseason rankings, where the Orange were as high as No. 16. It didn’t help that they were ousted in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Baylor.
If Syracuse Wins: A solid finish to the preseason. After looking good in Italy and the first preseason game, a solid performance here could do wonders for team confidence and chemistry heading into the game against Virginia.
If Syracuse Loses: Say it with me... “exhibition game.” While I don’t think anyone wants to see them lose, this one doesn’t count. Early season tests are great for late season greatness.
This, that, and the other: It’s not only the women at Carleton college that tore it up on the basketball court last year. The Carleton men’s squad also won the national championship in Canada, the 14th in their storied program’s history.
In fact, they’ve won 14 of the last 17 national championships. In the past three seasons, they’ve lost a total of one game (not counting exhibition games). They’ve already beaten D1 University of South Florida this year back in August.
So yeah, they’re pretty good.
They’re also returning three of their top four scorers from last year. Although they did lose leading scorer Eddie Ekeyor, they return forward TJ Lall (12.5 points-per-game), and guards Yasiin Joseph (12.1 points per game) and Munis Tutu (11.5 points per game).
Carleton is known for playing up-tempo, team-first basketball. They scored over 91 points per game last year. Will their new coach continue to push the pace? I’d say most likely.
With Syracuse basketball showing that they’re willing to push the ball as well, they could be in store for a frenetic, back-and-forth affair on Tuesday night. Hopefully Jalen Carey, Buddy Boeheim, and crew are ready. This is a game where I think Syracuse can really show off their depth and athleticism.
Fun Fact: Carleton College has won more basketball national championships (17) than any division 1 NCAA school (UCLA is first with 11). They have more than double the amount of the second place team (Kentucky, 8).
How do you see the game shaping up? Consider this the gamethread as well, so leave your pre-, in- and post-game comments below.