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TNIAAM men’s basketball survey: Only half of you are optimistic about Syracuse’s future

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More of you chimed in, and we got some interesting responses.

Syracuse v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

As a way to generate some coverage ideas AND get a better read on what Syracuse Orange fans are thinking, we started running some surveys here at TNIAAM. Last week, we asked about football, and this time around it’s the men’s basketball program.

The turnout did not disappoint, with 491 responses telling us what’s working, what isn’t, opinions on past and current players and the Dome fan experience.

So thank you for your answers to those questions and the feedback around what we’re doing well/what we can improve here. It’s always appreciated, and we’ll keep doing what we can to deliver the TNIAAM experience you’re hoping for.

Our next survey — women’s basketball — comes out on Wednesday too, by the way. So if you missed out on these last couple surveys, you’ll have at least one more chance to share your opinion on all matters Syracuse when that goes live.

Do you approve of the job Jim Boeheim’s doing as head coach? (not just in terms of wins and losses)

So the overwhelming majority of you are still fans of Jim Boeheim as head coach, but there’s a sizeable collection of responses that don’t see him as doing a great job anymore (or at least don’t approve of the job he’s doing right now). At least part of this is colored by last season’s disappointments, plus the recent run of NCAA Tournament bubble seasons.

What is your outlook for Syracuse men’s basketball’s future?

This is a bit of a theme. Respondents are uncertain about what’s next to say the least. Only about half of you are optimistic about the future — and a lot of that comes down to what you think of the job Boeheim’s done lately, and how much faith you have in his replacement being able to improve on those recent results.

What is your opinion of Syracuse’s assistant coaching staff?

Around 70% of you are at least somewhat positive about the assistant coaches, which is a decent amount. Also not one person had a “very negative” feeling about the assistants, which I found interesting.

When do you expect Jim Boeheim to coach until?

The 2021-22 season would be the end of Buddy Boeheim’s Orange career, barring an unexpected redshirt on the way, so it makes sense that more of you (nearly 42%) felt like that would be his final year than any other option. Overwhelmingly, most seem to think that either 2022 or 2023 is his last season as head coach.

When Jim Boeheim is done being coach of Syracuse men’s basketball, who would you want to see hired in his place?

This was the question I was most interested in getting an answer to, in all honesty. And it didn’t let me down.

Mike Hopkins is the clear favorite, and it’s not a shock to see Gerry McNamara second on the list despite a lack of head coaching experience. What was most intriguing is the fact that nearly 20% of you don’t want any of the options spelled out to replace Boeheim. That’s fine, of course. But very curious to hear who you want, then. Feel free to share in the comments if you went the “other” route.

Which is the next season Syracuse will reach at least the Sweet 16?

For all of the uncertainty above, about 75% of you are still pretty certain we’re a potential Final Four contender within the next two seasons. I’m maybe less optimistic than most, but I’m curious what has folks this high on the team’s immediate fortunes.

Is there an NBA Draft lottery-caliber player on the 2020-21 roster?

Again, here’s where I’m confused. When looking back at the previous question, many seem pretty certain of the team’s ability to make the Sweet 16 — but very few are certain of the individual players on the team. Lottery players aren’t everything, but they’re a big part of whether or not you can make the Sweet 16 (or further) or not.

Best Syracuse player ever…

Saw in the comments that several people wanted Billy Owens as an option, and I hear you. Based on the vote totals above, you could probably sub in him for Hakim Warrick. But was Owens going to overtake Melo at over 44% of the vote? Seems unlikely.

Name one thing you’d change about the Syracuse men’s basketball program if you could:

Like the football responses, recruiting was a big focus here, as fans do seem pretty frustrated with the caliber of incoming players of late. Other recurring themes included some frustration with Jim’s coaching lately, the zone and going back to the Big East. There were also notes about ticket prices, which was a surprise at least relative to the other things I figured people would pick.

Who is your favorite Syracuse player of the last 10 years?

Didn’t really know who you guys were going to pick here, so it was surprising to see C.J. Fair get over 43% of the vote. Tyus Battle actually seemed like the most likely pick to me beforehand, and he wound up in second above. Also saw Brandon Triche was a requested write-in, but I do think everyone above earned enough votes to warrant inclusion.

Who is poised to be the best player on the 2020-21 Syracuse roster?

Guess everyone here buys the Quincy Guerrier draft hype, as he leads the way with over 34% of the vote as the best player this upcoming season. It’s also very #BRAND for this group to select Marek Dolezaj with over 30% of the vote too.

Bourama Sidibe may have gotten the least amount of votes, but he was arguably one of the two or three best players on the roster over the final few weeks of 2019-20.

What aspect of the Syracuse home experience needs the most improvement?

A lot of you really hate the Dome seats (over 40% of the vote). #TeamTrough is also less effective on the basketball side than football. Again, curious what “other” options may be here, so feel free to share them if that was your pick.