@Syracuse.Hoops Q&A Session 5
Thank you for reading our blog! The Q&A has been a huge success. The Recruiting blog was great and we plan on doing a series of those throughout the summer and off-season to go in-depth on certain recruits that could wind up at ‘Cuse. We loved the interaction the questions sent in for this session. Follow us on Instagram @Syracuse.Hoops. We would LOVE your feedback so comment on this blog or DM us! Enjoy the blog and go Cuse!
Q&A- Session 5
Q1: I know it’s early, but as of now how many conference games do you see the Orange winning?
A: Right now, if I had to give a single number, it would be 10. That is what this team should shoot for for the upcoming season. The team is young- very young- so it might take a little while for things to click. It could be a similar situation as last year; at the beginning, you just don’t know. If this team does well in the non-conference schedule then 10 is a solid number that will get them into the tournament. If they underperform during the non-conference schedule then they might have to rack up a few more, similar to last year (and if it comes to it, winning at least 1 ACC Tournament game). But, this team has a couple very talented sophomores in Tyus Battle and Taurean Thompson, who in my guess will be the top sophomore scoring duo in the nation. But, you still have to play to meet predictions, so only time will tell.
Q2: Will Syracuse be ranked at any point this year?
A: It all depends on how Syracuse plays at the beginning of their schedule- if they play well, they’ll be on there; if they don’t, they won’t be ranked- it all is based on if they play well as a team in the first few months against a lighter schedule. Do I see them being ranked at any point this year? Yeah, I do for sure, whether it’s in the Preseason Polls (doubt it), in November, or going into the ACC Tournament. I see it happening. But, the length of their stay in the rankings all depends on how they handle their games against nonconference opponents. Remember last year when they were inside the top 20 before losing 3 of their next 5 games? Didn’t show up in another Top 25 list the rest of the year… It all depends on how well this young team plays at the beginning of the year and closes at the end of the campaign.
Q3: Who will replace Jimmy B. as head coach and when will it happen?
A: Right now, I can only answer one of those questions- and that is when will it happen. I’d say around 2022-23 (ish) if I had to guess. Adam Zagoria reported earlier that once Mike Hopkins left for UW that Boeheim had signed a 6-year extension- whether that’s true or not it gives us a rough timetable of what will happen. Recruits will still come (trust me) and the teams Boeheim will throw out there are still going to be competitive, if not very competitive. As for who replaces Boeheim is tough to say. It could be Adrian Autry, it could be Gerry McNamara, it could be Allen Griffin, it could be someone outside the program… we just don’t know. Hey, maybe Autry leaves after this year and becomes a head coach like Hopkins because he just doesn’t want to wait. We have to let it all play out and see what cards are dealt, but right now we don’t have the ace card to figure it out.
Q4: Thoughts on the recent recruits visiting and our chances of getting them?
A: Well, Cole Swider visited Syracuse earlier in the week, and so did Jalen Carey, but Carey’s visit was one of the unofficial variation while Swider's was an official visit. Both are seen as top recruits who Syracuse are both going seriously after. Swider is down to his last four schools and will announce after he visits his last school, which is Villanova, sometime in late June or early July. Carey is from Harlem, so if he wanted to stay in his home state, Syracuse would be a great spot. Both play different positions (Swider is a SF, and Carey a PG/CG) though, so a commitment by one won’t hinder the other’s chances of coming to Syracuse. But, Syracuse is in good hands with the two recruits. Although, Duke is in Swider’s final four so hopefully they don’t snatch him up like someone else we once knew.
Q5: How do you feel about the TBT?
A: I absolutely love The Basketball Tournament. It’s watching past Syracuse players compete. Who wouldn’t want to watch a Brandon Triche or a Scoop Jardine or a CJ Fair play? That’s what I love about this tournament. Syracuse fan favorites that are coming back and repping Orange (sort of, even though the team isn’t completely affiliated with Syracuse). Boeheim’s Army is a threat in the tournament this year with second-year experience from many players. Here’s the full roster of this year’s team.
Eric Devendorf- SG
CJ Fair- SF
Donte Greene- PF
Rick Jackson- PF
Scoop Jardine- PG
DaShonte Riley- C
James Southerland- SF
Brandon Triche- CG
Ryan Blackwell- Coach
Kevin Belbey- GM
AJ Owen- Booster
They are listed as a 3 seed in the Northeast Region. I’ll be watching their games and hoping they can make a huge run. I like their chances in this. Rooting for them to go all the way and take the 2 million dollar prize!
*Also, watch the Pearl 31s if you have a chance to- a second “Syracuse” team that was named after the legendary Dwayne “Pearl” Washington. Its GM is Pearl’s son, and hopefully they can make a run for the skilled Syracuse great. They too have a pair of Syracuse alums in Terrence Roberts and Lazarus Sims. Go Boeheim’s Army and the Pearl 31s!
Q6: When do you realistically see SU having another dominant center again? Any recruits or players to keep an eye on?
A: It seems like a decade ago that Syracuse had Rakeem Christmas as their standout center (it was only 3 years ago). But when will there will be the next standout center is tough to say. It could be someone from this year’s team (ie Thompson, Chukwu, or even Sidibe in the future), or it could be a recruit in the future for the 2018, 2019, or even the 2020 class. Remember how DaJuan Coleman was supposed to be that “next guy”? He was a McDonald’s All-American out of high school. Injuries got to him and just like that there was no chance of him reaching his potential. Chukwu could turn out to be a beast inside with his 7’2’’ frame. Or will his eye bite back? It’s just a wait-and-see process. Most of Cuse’s recent stand outs were diamonds in the rough. Coaches go out and get what they feel is the best for their program, then coach them and see if they pan out the way they had hoped. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Syracuse currently isn’t going after too many recruits that primarily play center in the 2018 class, but there is Isaiah Stewart lurking in the 2019 class, and he has some interest in Syracuse (he’s from Rochester).
Q7: Do you miss it when Syracuse played in the old Big East?
A: First of all, great question. Saved this one for last for a reason. I loved the Big East. All the competition, and all the rivals… it was great. It would seem once you hit January, the rest of the regular season was rival after rival. Connecticut, then Georgetown, then Villanova, then Marquette, then Louisville, then Pittsburgh, and the list goes on and on. When Syracuse plays Georgetown and UConn year in and year out, it reminds me of what used to be. Great games, with greater intensity. But now, playing in the ACC, I don’t feel the old tension that I used to have. It’s different. But it’s a different good. Playing GTown and UConn last year (and the year before playing GTown) brought back glimpses of how these teams used to battle. Remember the Big East Tournament and how crazy it got in Madison Square Garden? All those people loved their teams and loved the Big East. It’s different living in the ACC, but we’ve still got Louisville and Pittsburgh to beat up on (well, sometimes), but it’s definitely a forgotten part of SU culture- playing teams you hate year after year. Now, we have Duke and UNC to hate, and it sure is nice to beat Duke on a buzzer beater at same Dome that hosted so many ruthless fought games between the Orange and their uttermost foes.
Thank you for reading our Q&A! By far, these questions were great to choose from and interpret. We plan on doing an ACC standings predictions this summer, lineup configurations that could be sent out by Jimmy B. Again, thanks for all the interaction on yet another blog, and we hope you’ll be watching TBT! Go Orange!