That is the number of games remaining for this Orange team. There are 19 opportunities for the Orange to prove to the world, and themselves, that this tumultuous start to the season isn’t really who they are.
This team wasn’t ranked 17th in the preseason for no reason—there is talent on this team. How can a team with nine quality players, not stars, but quality players be 7-5 in non-conference play? They have shown flashes of excellence, but for some reason this team cannot put a full 40 minutes together against a quality team—even a bad team such as St. Johns.
The effort and heart of this team has been questioned and rightfully so. There hasn’t been an it factor from this team in terms of passion and determination. There could be because of the endless talent on the roster, but in their five losses it has looked as if the opponent needed the win more.
It doesn’t matter how great of a team you are if the team doesn’t want it more than its opponent—that is how upsets happen. The Orange will be the underdog in many of their remaining 19 games, and if they want any opportunity in pulling off an upset, coach Jim Boeheim is going to need to give this team a spark they haven’t received thus far.
The Orange have one more game before ACC play begins and then the real season gets underway. Right now the Orange find themselves in a deep hole to climb out of after their five disappointing losses. People have lost hope in this team, but the Orange have a chance to prove them wrong.
This is still the same roster that many looked at as one that could make another deep run in the Big Dance, and no changes have been made in the past 12 games. Sure the Orange haven’t played the way anyone expected, but if they can figure out their flaws this roster has the capability to shock the ACC in the coming months.
The Orange are highly unlikely to win the ACC, but why can’t they beat one or two of the top teams on any given night? There is the possibility of them getting embarrassed in the Dome against Duke — just look at what happened this past Wednesday — but if the ball bounces the right way, Tyler Lydon and crew could pull off a much needed upset vs. the Blue Devils or a number of other highly regarded opponents.
There are 19 possible ways for the Orange to right their ship; there are 19 opportunities for the Orange to keep it sinking. No one knows what the next few months have in store for Syracuse, but if this roster full of talent and versatility can figure out how to play with each other, there may be a reason to stick around for these 19 separate, 40-minute showdowns.