At first, voices around the college basketball landscape were hyping Syracuse up to be one of the best teams in college basketball next season. However, with the exit of Quincy Guerrier, those projections came back to Earth a bit. Though now it seems we’re back to that original phase as three new opinions are showing SU relatively high.
In his latest update to the Rothstein 45, Jon Rothstein has placed Syracuse at 29. Certainly a respectable spot for the Orange, one that I’m sure some fans are shocked to see after SU suffered a mass exodus right as the offseason began. Here’s Rothstein’s take on the Orange roster:
Projected Starting 5:
G Joe Girard
G Buddy Boeheim
G Benny Williams
F Cole Swider
C Bourama Sidibe
Projected Bench: Symir Torrence, Frank Anselem, Jimmy Boeheim, Jesse Edwards, John Bol Ajak
Newcomers: Benny Williams, Cole Swider (Villanova), Jimmy Boeheim (Cornell), Symir Torrence (Marquette)
Losses: Marek Dolezaj, Kadary Richmond, Robert Braswell, Alan Griffin, Woody Newton, Quincy Guerrier
Seniors: Bourama Sidibe, Marek Dolezaj
Andy Katz also weighed in via NCAA.com in which he ranked Syracuse 21st in the nation. Katz kept it short and sweet, “Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim should have a season to remember playing for their Hall of Fame father.” Katz features SU above teams such as FSU, Auburn, and Alabama.
The third and final opinion comes from Mat Mlodzinski of CBBReview. Mlodzinski met in the middle in terms of Katz’s and Rothstein’s opinion, he has SU at 24. This time below teams like Auburn, Alabama, and even St. Bonaventure.
Syracuse is gaining high praise prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign, will they live up to it at all?
Don’t forget last season, how many media members and fans thought there was no chance this team would qualify for the NCAA Tournament after losses such as Duke and Georgia Tech on the road? Not to mention there wasn’t a lot of hope in that team mid-season either. In early January that was a sorry squad. Two losses to Pittsburgh in a matter of 10 days? And a loss to UNC in that time? Nobody had faith in this team. So after a flurry of departures and some additions that have HUGE question marks attached to them, i.e. Symir Torrence/Cole Swider/Jimmy Boeheim, why should the SU faithful believe this team will be a top 25 team in the country? The real answer is they shouldn’t! There’s no doubt it’s going to take some time for this team to gel. That means we’ll see some losses, potentially to teams that they might not be expected to lose to. We see it all the time and should expect it once again. When you bring a team together that might not have a surplus of chemistry, that’s always going to be the case.
Expect this team to have some early-season struggles, pull it together and be a strong unit by the end of the regular season.