It’s almost that time! You can smell basketball in the air as Syracuse gets ready to tip-off its 2021-22 season. However, before the action gets going, the hot takes need to be given.
Now, I want to make this clear – these predictions are called bold predictions for a reason. They are not very realistic, but they are fun to hypothesize. With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the upcoming season:
Buddy Boeheim Wins ACC Player of the Year
This prediction is probably the most realistic of the three. Buddy Boeheim is easily Syracuse’s number 1 option on offense. The senior is coming off a season where he averaged 18 points on 38% shooting from three. He especially turned it on late, putting up 25 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. However, because of that coming out party, Boeheim is going to garner much more defensive attention this season. His chances of being ACC Player of the Year rely heavily on his ability to handle that extra pressure. If he can continue to shine, Boeheim can absolutely bring home the honor.
The other options for Player of the Year are Duke’s Paolo Banchero, the highly touted freshman, Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma and North Carolina’s Armando Bacot. It’s not crazy to say that Boeheim has the same probability of winning as those guys.
Syracuse Makes the Final Four
Syracuse making a Cinderella run and somehow finding itself in the Final Four??? Sounds pretty familiar. Being realistic, the Orange aren’t a top-four team in the country. They have plenty of question marks with all of the new faces. Plus, SU’s lack of depth is a big worry. However, if we want to be bold, it’s not completely ridiculous to say Syracuse could go on a run in the tournament. As long as the Orange make it, they could rattle off some wins. With Joe Girard feeding off the fans, Buddy lighting it up offensively, and Cole Swider and Benny Williams surprising people, they could catch fire and make it to the Final Four.
Frank Anselem is the Starting Center by ACC Play
Jim Boeheim loves to put people in the dog house. Last season it was Kadary Richmond. The year before that it was Jalen Carey. Could Jesse Edwards be the culprit this season? If so, Frank Anselem would fill in as the starting center. Bourama Sidibe would technically be the next guy up, but he is so injury-prone who knows if he ever plays this year. So, maybe it is the dog house that puts Anselem in the starting lineup.
Anselem could also just earn the starting role. Jesse Edwards’ rebounding ability was questionable at best during the exhibition games. Anselem wasn’t great either, but he is much more athletic than Edwards and could prove to be the better option. Boeheim says Anselem is still learning and growing. Maybe that growth kicks in during the non-conference slate and by ACC time he has earned the starting role.