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Fizz 5: Questions Before Tomorrow’s SU Basketball Opener

Syracuse takes on Lehigh Friday night in the Dome. Orange Fizz will be there, follow us on Twitter @OrangeFizz for updates throughout the night. There are plenty of questions surrounding this SU team, especially with the uncertainty still surrounding Jim Boeheim and his suspension. Let’s get to it, Fizz Five questions for the SU Basketball season.


5. Just how many threes will this team shoot?

Answer—a lot. And I’m all for it. This team seems to want to get back to a fast paced style that will be a lot of fun to watch and will put up a lot of points. The Orange has shot a whole bunch of threes in their two preseason games, including 32 against LeMoyne, which would have been 5th most in school history had it been a regular season game. Last year, the Orange shot 16.6 threes per game, expect that to go up, and maybe even come close to doubling.


4. How will the freshmen play?

Well, it looks like Malachi Richardson is a starter, he did start the two exhibition games after all. Tyler Lydon has played a good amount as one of the few bigs off the bench for SU, he can play on the wing or center of the 2-3 zone down low, so that is an advantage for him. Frank Howard will likely get some run, but the guards—Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije—will likely not come out of the game very much. So there will be varying playing time for the three freshmen, but they all should get some time on the floor.


3. What can we expect out of the seniors—Cooney and Gbinije?

Not only are they seniors, but 5th year seniors making up one of the most experienced back courts in the whole country. Gbinije showed a lot of improvement last year, especially when nobody was watching—i.e. after the postseason ban. Look at what he did against Duke. We know Cooney can be hot and cold, but the Orange simply needs more consistency out of him. Last year in ACC play, both Cooney and Gbinije played nearly every minute of every game, expect more of the same this year.


2. How does the Orange fair in a challenging non-conference schedule?

This will be important for the Orange. The team needs a good start to be put in position to make the NCAA Tournament, where the Orange is squarely on the bubble to begin the year. Let’s lay this out in order: a trip to the Bahamas where the field includes Michigan, UCONN, Gonzaga, Texas, Texas A&M and Washington, defending national runners-up Wisconsin comes to the Dome, the rivalry is renewed as SU heads to Georgetown, and the next week there is a trip to MSG to take on St. John’s. So there are plenty of opportunities for the all important “quality wins” that the NCAA Selection Committee looks for.


1. What happens with Jim Boeheim?

Is he suspended half of the ACC slate? Is he suspended for less? Is he suspended at all? We have no idea. And to be honest, it is ridiculous that the season starts tomorrow and there has not yet been an announcement by the NCAA. At media day a few weeks ago, Boeheim said he prefers the suspension during the ACC schedule than during the non-conference because it gives him time to make adjustments in season before being forced to leave the program for about a month. Both Boeheim and Duke counterpart Coach K have gone on record saying the punishment is a little much, Coach K actually used the word “cruel.” What happens is still up in the air, and we still wait to see what will happen with Coach Boeheim.

Posted By: Seth Goldberg

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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