Well, this is who the Syracuse Orange are, and are going to be, as the new year has begun. The Orange have fallen once again to a team many looked at as inferior; an occurrence that has become more than common this season.
So where do they go from here? No one expected the Syracuse season to turn out the way it has, and with 17 games remaining the Orange have no place to hide in 2017. The schedule is only going to get tougher with ACC play just getting under way. The new year is a clean slate for everyone, but after today’s performance, SU’s slate could be tarnished for good.
The Orange had a 79% chance of winning today’s game, but a lack of effort on defense and countless offensive mistakes led the Orange to an 8-6 record. The Orange failed to guard the perimeter, allowing the Eagles to convert on 16 of their 25 three point attempts. The Orange have a lot of individual talent, but talent can’t always come through when your giving up 96 points to Boston College.
In 10 of the remaining 17 games the Orange have a less than 50-percent chance to win. And that was before this loss. Syracuse was supposed to be a top 25 team all year long due to their depth and versatile roster, but the pieces to the puzzle have not fit in the slightest. Everything that was supposed to happen has gone the complete opposite direction leaving SU looking for answers and guidance.
March shouldn’t even be a conversation at this point as the Orange have failed to prove anything against a quality opponent. Prior to today’s matchup, Syracuse was projected to finish with a 4-10 record against top 50 teams, but after today’s performance that number in the win column could easily drop.
If today’s game against Boston College proved anything, this SU team could be in for more than an embarrassment against Duke and North Carolina. Prior to the beginning of the season the Orange were looked at as a possible competitor against the top teams in the ACC. That’s far from the case today.
So what does the future hold? Without improvement on defense, be prepared for a lot more outcomes like today’s and a few glimmers of hope that are taken away faster than Tyus Battle on the break. This team has talent without question. But if we’ve learned anything this season it’s that individual talent doesn’t always lead to success.
The pieces that were brought together didn’t fit, and lack any ability to run coach Jim Boeheim’s system well. The season looks dark, but perhaps we’re surprised along the way in what’s become a lost season.