It’s November, which means Syracuse Orange basketball is back (and hopefully) better than before.
Both the Syracuse men’s and women’s teams will kick off their seasons today in the JMA Wireless Dome. The women’s program will face Stony Brook, while the men’s team starts things off against Lehigh.
Here’s how the TNIAAM staff expect things to play out in this Opening Day Doubleheader:
Syracuse women’s basketball versus Stony Brook:
Syracuse 64, Stony Brook 60
After a subpar performance against the ACC in 2021-2022, the Orange have to get off to a fast start against the non-conference competition. Based on the team’s exhibition game versus Le Moyne, coach Legette-Jack and the Orange know the game plan, rotation, and priorities for this season. Expect a competitive but strong opening game for SU.
Syracuse 69, Stony Brook 59
There are some obvious differences between this year’s squad and the last. They can rebound, they match up better against the three, and there is quality depth to be found on the bench. Having Dyaisha Fair, who already knows FLG’s system from Buffalo, will be huge for the offense as the transfers learn each other’s strengths. The game should start out close, but SU just needs one strong run for some breathing room.
Syracuse 67, Stony Brook 63
With only one exhibition game, I’d expect Syracuse to continue to look a bit disjointed on offense. Stony Brook has some experienced players and they should provide a strong test. In the end, the duo of Teisha Hyman and Dyaiasha Fair are going to get into the lane and create enough offense for Syracuse to start this new era with a win.
Syracuse 58, Stony Brook 55
Especially after the Le Monye exhibition, something tells me this game is going to be low scoring. Both teams are dealing with roster turnover, but Stony Brook has a few more holdovers than Syracuse. Team cohesiveness will probably lead to sloppy play in the first two quarters, but the individual talent that Syracuse has probably is enough to squeak by in the fourth.
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Stony Brook?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and the FLJ Era takes off smoothly
Stony Brook wins and maybe this rebuild will take longer
Syracuse men’s basketball versus Lehigh:
Syracuse 75, Lehigh 65
Compared to the women’s team, the men’s program faces a much easier opening-day opponent, at least on paper. The Orange still have tons of questions to hash out, especially when it comes to the rotation, how coach Boeheim prioritizes who gets playing time, and which players can carve out legitimate roles on the team. With all that in mind, expect Syracuse to get off to a strong start and finish with, at a bare minimum, a 10-point victory to begin the season.
Syracuse 87, Lehigh 69
This is where we can see why Jim Boeheim is so high on this group of freshmen. There will be some growing pains of course, but I expect the rookies to look more in synch than the two preseason games. SU’s superior size means they can play in the paint most of the game and take outside looks when they open up. I’m more concerned about the defensive end, where JAB hasn’t committed to one playstyle over the other. It’s ok to mix and match now and figure things out, but the score will probably tighten up as a result.
Syracuse 81, Lehigh 67
The Orange should cruise in this one and it will likely be the duo of Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards who lead the way. After the tough second half last week, I would imagine it wasn’t a fun few days of practice so Syracuse will likely start fast as players pick up the defensive intensity as they look to secure their spots in the rotation. It’ll be interesting to see which players not only start the game, but which ones are the first to come off the bench tonight.
Syracuse 78, Lehigh 60
Most of these early games should be decided because of Syracuse’s size advantage in the paint. With that being said, these games are going to be a lot closer than normal just due to the sheer amount of youth on the Orange. You can deal with a freshman mistake here and there, which Syracuse has done plenty of times in seasons past. But this many freshmen tasked with being key contributors? The scores are going to be close as they learn along the way.
Who wins the game between Syracuse and Lehigh?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins and we’re back baby
Lehigh wins so let’s talk football for another month