For those of us that had the misfortune of watching the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team on Wednesday night, you probably noticed a number of things you’d rather not have. For instance, Syracuse had minimal ball movement, poor shot selection and hardly any inside presence. They had their lowest scoring game since 1945. And they suffered a season-opening loss for just the fifth time under Jim Boeheim,
This is actually the first season-opening loss for the Orange since 2003-04, when the then-defending champs fell to Charlotte, 96-92. SU also lost to Memphis (70-63) to open the season before that — which turned out pretty well, plus 1994-95 (111-104 loss to George Washington ) and 1987-88 (96-93 to North Carolina).
If you’re picking out bright spots, all four of those previous squads would go on to make the NCAA Tournament. Of the opponents, the 1987-88 UNC team was probably the best of them, finishing in the top 10.
The main takeaway here, though, is that the first game of the season — even one as ugly as what we had to witness this past evening — doesn’t really mean much in terms of the big scheme of things.
If Syracuse’s offense comes out looking as shaky and disjointed next week against Colgate, then sure, let’s panic away. For now, we’ll at least try to exercise a little caution as this young team tries to figure some things out on both ends of the floor.