College basketball is going through plenty of changes. The Olympic Model will be adopted to help athletes financially. The G-League is trying to poach many of its young stars. And no March Madness is forcing some tough decisions around the country. There’s also drama on the court. As the sport changes, so does Syracuse basketball. What this could mean for a potential season in 2020-’21?
A Great Start in the Postseason
Things looked bleak for SU midway through the season. Losing to a bad North Carolina team at the Dome two weeks before the ACC Tournament was yet another embarrassment. Despite this disaster in front of Jimmy Fallon, Tom Brady and several other famous faces, SU pulled a 180 a few weeks later. In the ACC Tournament the Orange cruised to a 81-53 victory, and hope was here.
Which Syracuse team would show up the rest of the month? The one that looked dead all season, or another version of an SU team that turned it on in March? When checking a list of existing betting websites, the betting odds on several of the matchups were certainly not in their favor. Vegas wasn’t buying it. The tournament was halted by the pandemic, and now we wonder what Orange team was the real one.
A Huge Blow As Players Leave
So the coronavirus canceled the rest of the season, and then it seemed like every player left. Four players transferred elsewhere, which left the program reeling. Brycen Goodine and Jalen Carey left somewhat unexpectedly, and now negative energy filled the air. Goodine headed for Providence, while Carey ended up in Rhode Island. Will they ascend to the next level in their new homes? And how will SU recover? College hoops has become a massive transfer market, and SU saw that up close.
The Shining Light Of Dior Johnson
One of the best pieces of news in the last few weeks has been the potential for Dior Johnson to reclassify to the 2021 class. He is a 5-star player, and the longer he waits to play college basketball the better the odds become of being eligible to jump directly to the NBA. The league is considering what to do with the “one-and-done” rule, and by then he may have an opening into the NBA Draft. But it’s not here yet, so switching into the 2021 class would allow SU fans to see him at the Dome. Dior has also said that he plans to help recruit other top players to SU. Could he bring in a group of potential stars that set up the Orange for years?
There are several changes that Syracuse will face as next season opens, and if there is a season we’ll see if the results will pick up where last year left off.