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Does Boeheim’s Army have what it takes to win The Basketball Tournament this summer?

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Coach Ryan Blackwell assesses the squad before tipping off this weekend.

Boeheim’s Army advances in The Basketball Tournament in 2016
Boeheim’s Army

Is this the year that Boeheim’s Army takes home $2 million as champions of The Basketball Tournament (TBT)?

That’s the big question for fans as the team gets ready to take the court at Onondaga County Community College. It’s also on the mind of coach Ryan Blackwell, who talked to Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota about this year’s team and whether or not they were championship-ready.

As expected given the recent influx of outside-shooters, Blackwell has been paying attention to how other successful TBT squads have been constructed and tried to mimic a bit of that with this year’s edition of Boeheim’s Army. Last year’s group was arguably the biggest in the field, but didn’t necessarily have the consistent jump shooting that other, quicker teams did. They paid the price, unfortunately. This year’s roster hopefully rectifies that.

For what it’s worth, I do think that Boeheim’s Army is the favorite heading into this event, even if Blackwell and the players won’t commit to as much, and there’s certainly plenty that can happen to prevent the title. But playing in front of a “home” crowd at OCC early and adding NBA-caliber talent in guys like B.J. Johnson, Michael Gbinije and Andrew White definitely puts them over the top. We’ll see soon enough whether or not the team of former Syracuse Orange standouts (plus Jordan Crawford) can take home the big check at the end of this thing.

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

Boeheim’s Army coach Ryan Blackwell assesses potential $2 million roster in TBT (Syracuse.com)

“We added some guys who will be able to play defense at both ends,” Blackwell said. “Even if we go small and use Hak (Warrick) at the 5, Mike Gbinije and B.J. Johnson and Andrew White will be fine at forward. That’s how Overseas Elite has done it. They play with one big and a ton of 6-5, 6-6 guys who just play hard. “In games we lost, we haven’t made shots,” Blackwell said. “We have guys who can make plays for themselves and make plays for others.”

Syracuse University will use one of the biggest cranes in the U.S. to build Carrier Dome roof (Syracuse.com)

“It’s going to dominate the skyline,” Jatho said. “If you can see the Carrier Dome, it’ll be a couple hundred feet above it.” By the time the crane is completely built, it will have taken between 85 and 87 truck loads to bring all of the pieces to Syracuse. Manufactured by Liebherr, a German crane company, it can lift 1,100 tons and will weigh 3 million pounds. It will take multiple weeks, and the power of multiple other cranes, just to build the LR-11000.

Kendall’s Roosevelt Bouie finds new calling with Syracuse basketball (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

“One thing I liked the most about playing at Syracuse was that me and my teammates were all friends. We went to Italy my sophomore year and for two weeks they were the only people I could communicate with,” Bouie said. “I really got know, respect and like my teammates. That’s why on defense we took it so personal. We didn’t want anybody to score on us because it might make one of our teammates look bad. You would get double- or triple- teams out of nowhere without even asking for help.”

Eric Devendorf straddles the difficulties of family ties, coaching ambition (Syracuse.com)

“It’s a different level, man. A lot of those guys it’s not the same, they’re not as motivated as they would be maybe at a Syracuse,” he said. “The talent isn’t as good, but maybe sometimes guys at Syracuse, their goal is to get to the NBA. Maybe at that level, guys might not have as good a chance to get there. They’re still trying to play pro, but it’s different. You gotta take a different approach.”

Unpopular college football opinions that strike a nerve (247Sports)

There will be competitive balance in the ACC behind Clemson, but there’s only one team that will finish with nine victories (or more) during the regular season besides the Tigers. And that’s not Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia or Florida State. Thanks to a relatively cake slate outside of a home game vs. the defending national champions in Week 3, Dino Babers’ Syracuse Orange will go no worse than 9-3 this fall, continuing their upward trajectory as a program.

College Football’s Top 25 Breakout Quarterbacks for 2019 (Athlon Sports)

Projecting College Football Preseason Top 25 at the Start of Fall Camp (Bleacher Report)

Cisco, Robinson Included on Nagurski Trophy Watch List (Cuse.com)

Clemson’s ACC football dynasty good for business (Daily Press)