CBS isn’t the end-all be-all of expert college basketball opinions, but they’re just the latest in a list of the sport’s analysts that say Syracuse is probably looking at another season living near the NCAA Tournament bubble.
That’s not a knock on them — it’s a fairly accurate statement, at least given what we know at this very moment. Syracuse loses top scorers like Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard, plus defensive stopper Paschal Chukwu. There’s a lot of youth and not a lot of known info yet about the Orange defense. The program also needs a complete overhaul of the (lack of) offensive system from recent seasons.
CBS says SU’s eighth in the ACC, but they’re bullish on Jim Boehiem’s ability to bring a green team to the Big Dance nonetheless. Obviously his track record speaks for itself there, and there’s a chance the Orange’s schedule helps a bit too (most notably, with zero trips to North Carolina).
We’ll be getting into more season preview stuff in the coming weeks, but for now, CBS’s projected standings look pretty accurate, though maybe you swap Louisville and UNC at the top. Syracuse is one of many teams in a questionable middle class with Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami and maybe Pitt. The difference between who finishes sixth and who finishes 10th in that group could wind up just being a win or two. Which wins are included in there also tells you a lot more about how a team contends for an NCAA Tournament bid (or not). SU has plenty of solid Ws on the schedule — perhaps enough to trip and fall into 20 — but will certainly need a couple top-25 triumphs to make the field.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
8. Syracuse Orange: This is right about where the at-large line gets blurry in this league, and yes, we’re zagging a bit. Cuse, which has been young in some recent seasons, will be nearly as inexperienced as it’s ever been. Despite the fact that four starters from last year are gone, Jim Boeheim has had some success with green rosters in the past.
Even as his grades improved and he became one of the best basketball players in the city, Breland wasn’t on the Syracuse team’s radar. He recalls a conversation when he was in 11th or 12th grade and closing in on graduation. Breland’s high school coach, Ken Begal, wanted to see whether Syracuse would be interested. Begal played under Lew Andreas, the athletic director at Syracuse, so he visited Andreas in his office.
Three schools — North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia Tech — have hired former head coaches to advisory or analytical positions in the past 10 months, providing an additional voice of experience for the programs while giving the ex-coaches a way to stay involved in the sport without having to do any on-field coaching or recruiting. “I’m not the head coach, and there isn’t anything better than that — not being head coach,” quipped Jerry Kill, the newest addition to the Hokies’ staff.
The Syracuse men’s lacrosse team will make Cicero-North Syracuse its home field again for two regular season games this spring. The dates and foes for those contests were not announced other than to specify they will be held after March 1. The switch is necessitated because of renovation work in the Carrier Dome.