Heading into his first season at Syracuse, the expectations for Adrian Autry are relatively high among Syracuse fans. Even though KenPom hates the Orange this year, and most early bracketology experts have the ‘Cuse outside the tournament. So, if SU fans are right, if Judah Mintz turns into a top-10 point guard in the country. And Naheem McCloud is a true big man, and JJ Starling is a top guard in the conference.
You can continue to go on and on about the what if these things go perfectly for the Orange this season. Maybe Maliq Brown takes a step up too, or Benny Williams takes that next step and looks like the player we all thought he could be when he committed. Just how high can the Orange go this season?
First year head coaches have had a lot of success recently in college basketball. Just two seasons ago Huebert Davis brought North Carolina to the national title game in his first season. Now, of course saying that Autry will lead the Orange to the national title is a bit extreme. But is it crazy to say that if all of these things go right, the team can be a top five seed in the tournament?
Assuming all of this, SU also has a top tier defense in college basketball. The best SU teams have always had lockdown defenses. Autrys man to man can be extremely efficient with the athletes like Quadir Copeland and Maliq Brown.
If the Orange truly have the best backcourt in the ACC, and two great wings along with an ACC-caliber center, then they should be a top-five seed. Davis proved at UNC that being a first-year coach isn’t a big hindrance when you aren’t completely changing the system and program. Anything is possible this year.