The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team opens its 114th season Friday, as the Kennesaw State Owls visit the Carrier Dome for a non-conference showdown (7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Sports/ESPN3).
The first ever meeting between these programs is a part of the 2K Classic, which will also feature SU hosting Hampton on Sunday and then advancing to the semifinals where they will be in their "home away from home"–Madison Square Garden–on Nov. 20 against the California Golden Bears.
The Orange, ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, are looking to kick start head coach Jim Boeheim's 39th season by extending their consecutive non-conference home winning streak to 52 victories.
Making their collegiate debuts tonight for the Orange will be two standout freshmen: forward Chris McCullough and point guard Kaleb Joseph. Others expected to be in the starting lineup are: junior shooting guard Trevor Cooney, sophomore forward Tyler Roberson and senior center Rakeem Christmas.
|Syracuse Orange (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.||PPG||RPG|
Meanwhile, Kennesaw State, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, is led by first-year head coach Jimmy Lallathin. Senior guard Delbert Love paced the Owls in points last season averaging 12.1 per game. Junior forward Orlando Coleman is the team's inside presence, he averaged 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last year. On the bench, freshman shooting guard Nick Materson and junior transfer (Memphis), forward Damien Wilson, are expected to make an impact.
|Kennesaw State Owls (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.|
|Nigel Pruitt"]" style="padding: 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Nigel Pruitt||Jr.||6'7"||180|
|Willy Kouassi"]" style="padding: 2px 3px; vertical-align: bottom;">Willy Kouassi||Jr.||6'10"||230|
On Sunday, the Owls will fly cross-country to take on Cal. Games at Mercer and North Dakota State will cap the team's season-starting road trip.
Game Time: 7 p.m.
TV: Time Warner Cable Sports (locally)/ESPN3 (nationally)–Doug Sherman (play-by-play), Steve Donahue (color)
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network