It is the time of year when dates and times of Syracuse basketball games are slowly released. Syracuse had already known about two Big Monday match-ups against Duke and UNC but last week, two more key games were released.
Let’s start about the beginning. The Orange will open up the basketball season against Lehigh at the Carrier Dome on November 13th. This is nothing new. Syracuse is sure to start the season with a win (and it should be a very comfortable win).
While some fans may overlook this game and only look forward to it because it means Syracuse basketball is back, it actually plays a more important role than usual. This year, the Orange are not blessed with a joke of a non-conference schedule. The Orange will travel to the Bahamas where they may play Michigan, Texas or Uconn, travel to Gerogetown and St. John’s and host Wisconsin.
The Lehigh game will give Orange fans their first real glance at this team that has so many questions, especially after the somewhat surprising case of Moustapha Diagne.
The other game that was released is the Orange’s first ACC game of the season, a December 30th showdown, on the road, against Pitt.
The first conference game of the year is always going to be huge. As exciting and important as the non-conference schedule is– especially when there are games against old rivals like Georgetown and St. John’s– the conference games are the ones that really matter.
This year, the first conference game takes on a whole new importance. It will be the first glimpse into the Mike Hopkins era, as Jim Boeheim will begin his suspension with that game.
It is the first of nine games Hopkins will coach in the 2015-16 season and at the latest, Hopkins will become the full-time head coach of Syracuse in 2018. It is sure to be weird for many Syracuse fans who have never even seen a Syracuse game without Boeheim, but it something everyone will just have to get used to.