Orange Fizz


Way Too Early Predictions for Syracuse Basketball


With the national championship going on today, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about tangible results for next season. Is the roster finalized? Not even close. Is the landscape of the ACC certain? Nope. Is it fun to make predictions anyway? Absolutely. These are just guesses, so have some fun with it.

Preseason Ranking: Unranked

This seems like an obvious one, but not everyone agrees. One website even put Syracuse as the tenth-ranked team in the country, but that’s just silly. Unless they know something everyone else doesn’t, then the Orange aren’t close to that ranking. A major transfer might change that, but even if SU does well in the portal, the top-10 (and even the top-25) is way too lofty of a goal.

MVP: JJ Starling

JJ Starling will be the MVP of the team next year regardless of any roster changes. After a full year of getting comfortable with the Orange, he’s ready to take the next step. 

Judah Mintz is likely gone, but even if he stayed, it feels like Starling was catching up at the end of last season. 

Freshmen Donnie Freeman and Elijah Moore are exciting, but the current college landscape favors experience. Amongst all the Final Four teams, there are just three freshman starters, and all the stars are upperclassmen.

Other options would be transfer center Eddie Lampkin, returning wing Chris Bell, or any other transfer that comes in. Unless it’s a true elite player, Starling will be the MVP for Syracuse.

ACC Ranking: 6th

Duke and UNC almost always finish towards the top of the conference. Virginia had a down year, but still finished above SU. Pitt and Wake Forest have been solid the last few seasons. Other than that? The ACC has had a down few years. Clemson, NC State, and Virginia Tech will all lose a lot. That adds up to around a 6th-place finish in the conference for the Orange.

NCAA Tournament: Yes

Why not have some hope? If the freshmen are solid, there’s one more starter added in the portal, and JJ Starling makes a leap, there’s no reason Syracuse can’t make the NCAA Tournament.

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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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