There is no doubt that the last four games have been incredibly frustrating for Syracuse fans, but it is important to look at the big picture and realize that the Orange are probably in a better place than most expected them to be. When looking at their non-conference schedule before the season, one could easily pick out at least four games that the Orange could lose. They had to play two ranked teams at the Battle 4 Atlantis, the 2015 National runner-up and had to go on the road for two big rivalry games.
Before the season, if someone had said that after ten games the Orange would be sitting at 7-3, every Syracuse fan should have taken that without a second thought. This is a team with a lot of new pieces that has a couple of freshmen playing major minutes. This is a team that lost its head coach a month before it was prepared to do so.
Yes, there are plenty of things that the Orange have to improve on if they are going to make any noise in conference play. The rebounding problem is becoming more and more pronounced with every game they play and it will be on Mike Hopkins to figure that out by the time the games that really matter roll around around the new year.
Syracuse should enter conference play at 10-3. They have three home games remaining before they travel to the “Zoo” in Pittsburgh. These games are against Cornell, Montana State and Texas Southern. The Orange should win these three games with ease and enter conference play with a solid record and, hopefully, more confidence.
Now, if Syracuse drops one of these games to an inferior opponent at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse fans will, rightly, begin to lose confidence in this team. These next three games should present an opportunity for the Orange to make adjustments and start to figure things out on both sides of the ball. In short, this season is just beginning and it is far too early to give up on this team.