Orange Fizz


2022-23 Syracuse Basketball: Another Season of Inches

While the record wasn’t quite as bad as last season’s, Syracuse’s story in both of its last two campaigns was a similar one. The Orange constantly blew key opportunities for season-changing wins while losing games they frankly had no business losing. So since we wrote one of these last year, it’s only fitting that we do the same for this season. SU was 17-15 overall, but if a few things went differently this article wouldn’t exist.


How are the Raiders in here AGAIN? After the offensive pummeling Colgate put on Syracuse in 2021-22, you thought there was no way it would happen again. Well, the Raiders put up 19 three-pointers on the Orange, setting a new Dome record. To have a high major foe do that is understandable, for it to be Colgate is unacceptable. Goodness gracious, this is a game Syracuse should have had no business losing. 18-14


One of many that got away. The Orange built an 11-point lead in the first half only to see the Red Storm storm back and force overtime. The extra period was nothing short of a disaster. Four turnovers dug SU’s grave in the Empire Classic finale and St. John’s took the title. Sure, it was the second OT game in as many days for Syracuse, but efforts like that cannot happen down the stretch. 19-13


This one might be the biggest head-scratcher of them all. It doesn’t matter that Judah Mintz was tossed in the first half, this is a game the Orange had no business losing and frankly had no business being competitive. Bryant finished its season at 17-13, losing in the first round of the America East Quarterfinals. For goodness sake, what are we doing? It was a game that went down to the wire, but it should never have. 20-12


Let’s actually give SU some credit on this one. Pitt held a 20-point lead midway through the second half, only to see Quadir Copeland among others get Syracuse back into the game. But once again, execution down the stretch was terrible. Turning it over down one and chucking up a mediocre shot at best at the buzzer won’t satisfy many. It was a valiant effort to get back in it, but one that stung big time. 21-11


At the time, it would’ve been far and away the biggest resume booster of the season. SU held an 11-point lead about five minutes into the second half, but then, as Miami always seems to do against Syracuse, the Hurricanes took over. The Orange had an opportunity late, but Mintz was forced into a very ugly shot and that was all she wrote. It was a loss that left many Orange fans with their heads buried. 22-10


How the Orange lost this one is easily the most egregious. With SU up by one, UNC missed a free throw that bounced to the baseline. Inexplicably, Joe Girard dove for it and threw it to a WIDE OPEN Tar Heel under the basket. North Carolina converted on Syracuse’s fatal flaw, and a few undisciplined plays later the rest was history. Many SU fans were complaining about the officiating after the game, but no. If Girard doesn’t make that boneheaded play the officiating is a moot point. 23-9


SU was down by just two to the then-No. 6 Cavaliers and the possession with a chance to tie. That is, until foul trouble nipped Jesse Edwards again, and UVA’s Jayden Gardner hit the dagger (over Mounir Hima nonetheless). Late game execution plagued SU once again, and Kihei Clark AKA the Father of the Zone had one last great performance against Syracuse. Another tough one. 24-8

If all those games somehow fall in the laps of the Orange, it’s not a bad take to say SU takes two of that four-game losing streak and likely picks up an ACC Tournament victory as well. That gets you to 27-6. WOW. Syracuse is definitely dancing and likely has a top-5 seed at worst. This is all hypothetical of course, but it goes to show if the ball bounced a few different ways, this team and Jim Boeheim’s final season have a completely different outlook.

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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