You guys smell that? That’s the sweet smell of basketball season returning to Central New York. We are oh so close to another year of Syracuse basketball.
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) October 22, 2018
Preseason action starts this Thursday against the College of Saint Rose. The first real game is two weeks from Tuesday on November 6th against Eastern Washington in the dome. With that vastly approaching, the AP released its preseason Top 25 poll Monday afternoon and the Orange check in at number 16.
It's back! Restocked Kansas is No. 1 in preseason AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll, ahead of Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, Virginia. See the full poll here: https://t.co/zRMwd70u1Q pic.twitter.com/63YDfjI8Px
— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) October 22, 2018
Right about where we expected, honestly. After all, this is a sweet 16 team that’s returning all of its starters and added Elijah Hughes, Jalen Carey, Robert Braswell and Buddy Boeheim to form one of the deepest SU teams (at least on paper) in recent memory. But there are also offensive concerns, naturally after last year.
Couple other things that stand out about the poll.
The ACC Will Be Loaded Again:
Syracuse is the 5th highest ACC team, just one spot behind Virginia Tech (15). The ACC has the most teams in the top 25 of any conference with seven total: Duke (4) Virginia (5) UNC (8) Va Tech (15) Syracuse (16) Florida State (17) Clemson (22). Preseason polls are tough to predict and don’t mean much, but still.
KenPom Has Syracuse & The ACC higher:
SU is 8th in the basketball genius, Ken Pomeroy’s, nerdy algorithm.
ACC teams on kenpom.com
Florida State (15)
So the same six teams, most higher up on the top 25, with the exception of Virginia Tech who the algorithm is lower on. Here’s a full look at an ACC preseason rankings made way back in the summer.
Shoutout to Coach Hop:
In just his second year as the head coach, Mike Hopkins has Washington in the AP Top 25 preseason (barely) at 25. Props to him and his guys.
Oregon Checks in at 14:
This is important because Syracuse will likely play the Ducks in the 2k Classic at Madison Square Garden, meaning at least right now this is the only non-conference opponent on SU’s schedule that’s in the top 25.