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Syracuse, Virginia basketball both in for tough opener at Carrier Dome next month

No, thankfully Kyle Guy will not be present.

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NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been pretty concerned about the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team all offseason given what they replace. That feeling is also exacerbated by the fact that the defending national champion (/vomits) Virginia Cavaliers come to town to start the season.

Even replacing several top scorers, UVA’s recruiting has looked pretty good of late, and Tony Bennett’s obviously acquitted himself as a fantastic coach. As a smart coach as well, he’s also willing to admit that opening at SU is less than ideal for his club as well.

When asked about the game at the Carrier Dome in less than a month, Bennett noted to that opening in-conference (especially against the Orange zone “sounded like a better idea at the time than it does right now.’’ The crux of that opinion comes from the adjusted roster he’ll have and how little those players have seen the zone compared to the players that just departed.

Of course, familiarity with the zone hasn’t really been the deciding factor for UVA in this series. Syracuse is just 2-6 against the Hoos since joining the ACC, and the two wins were far more reliant on the Orange pressing successfully than it was about the zone stifling their offense. Last year, ‘Cuse had a first half lead over Virginia at the Dome, but they shot right over the zone in the second half en route to a 79-53 drubbing.

We’ll see how it goes. Expect plenty more conversation about that game too as we get closer to tip-off.

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

Virginia’s Tony Bennett on opener at Syracuse: ‘That zone in that setting?’ (

The game figures to be Syracuse’s toughest season-opener since starting the 1987-88 season against No. 3 North Carolina in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in Springfield, Mass. “We’ve opened up with really good teams in past years,’’ Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think every coach would tell you he’d rather not open up with conference games, but they’re there and we’re all going to do it.

A conversation with Jim Boeheim changed my mind about paying college athletes (Daily Orange)

“I was with Charles Barkley the other night and he made a great point,” Boeheim said. “If you’re at Alabama, then you’ll get money. You’ll do a commercial or something. So who’s going to get the commercial? The quarterback, the point guard, running back. Maybe they get a $50,000 commercial, just throwing that out there. What’s the tackle say? What’s the guard say?”

Why Syracuse will shoot a lot more threes this season (The Athletic)

If there’s one thing we know about this young team, it’s this: There will be shooters on the floor. This will be an unfamiliar sight, as Syracuse has been slow to embrace the college game’s high-volume 3-point shooting. It has taken years for the Orange to emphasize deep shooting, mostly because the personnel hasn’t fit that approach.

Syracuse DE Alton Robinson’s road toward NFL included pit stop at ‘D-I of jucos’ (

“It’s not a surprise for a guy like Alton who, for his whole junior and senior year of high school, had one depiction of what the year after high was going to look like -- and it’s obviously not Miami, Okla -- to be upset,” Allen said. “We had a few good conversations the first week and got over a few hurdles. He turned it around real quick, and I’m glad he realizes Mik’Quan had a little bit to do with it.”

When Bourama Sidibe lost his father, several men guided him from Mali to Syracuse (

When Sidibe was 12 years old, yet another uncle helped to change his life. Bourama Sidibe and his nephew both had been named after the same man: Bourama’s maternal grandfather. Sidibe uncle lived in Barcelona, Spain, and wanted Bourama to come to Barcelona where he could receive a better education.

Coach K demands action from NCAA on payment issue: ‘We must adapt’ (Yahoo Sports)

Syracuse basketball extends new 2020 offer (CuseNation)

Syracuse’s recovery methods help withstand strenuous season (Daily Orange)

Syracuse roster indicative of larger trends in U.S. field hockey (Daily Orange)

Sports Illustrated needs a business model, not your outrage (Bloomberg)