#69 Syracuse Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview


Syracuse Orange


2017-2018 Overall Rank: #69

Conference Rank: #11 ACC

Syracuse Logo
Syracuse suffered through a very tough 2016-2017 campaign. There were some big wins, but there were also some very memorable terrible losses. Most notable was the 93-60 home loss to St. John’s and the ACC opening 96-81 defeat at the hands of Boston College. The game against the Red Storm was the Orange’s largest margin of defeat ever at the Carrier Dome. The 96 points allowed to the Eagles was the most Syracuse has allowed to an ACC opponent since joining the conference. In the end, Syracuse improved, but lacked consistency. They ended up winning a game in the NIT before putting their disappointing season behind them.
2016-17 Record: 19-15, 10-8
2016-17 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Jim Boeheim
Coach Record: 903-354 at Syracuse, 903-354 overall
Who’s Out:
This is a painful list for the Orange. Losing a few seniors was obviously expected, but Tyler Lydon went to the NBA and Taurean Thompson opted to transfer in late August. Lydon ranked second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game and led the squad with 8.6 rebounds. He was selected 24th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. Thompson, a 6-10 forward, would have been one of the leaders of the team after averaging 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman. Andrew White III led the Orange with 18.5 points per game during his lone season at Syracuse. He proved to be a prolific and efficient shooter. Fellow grad transfer John Gillon knocked down plenty of shots too. DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson are also gone after spending their entire collegiate careers with the Orange.
Who’s In:
The large group of newcomers will have to make an immediate impact this year. Geno Thorpe, a graduate transfer from South Florida, brings some much needed experience to the roster. The 6-4 guard led the Bulls with 15.1 points and 4.6 steals last season. Matthew Moyer could find himself starting after redshirting in 2016-2017. The 6-8 forward is tough in the paint, but can also shoot the ball. Fellow freshmen Oshae Brissett, Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe will add more options to a frontcourt that desperately needs options. Point guard Howard Washington should have more time to develop his game, while Grinnell College transfer Braedon Bayer could add a scoring punch off the bench.
Who to Watch:
Frank Howard and Tyus Battle are the only players with any real experience playing at Syracuse. Howard is a big 6-5 point guard who started part of his sophomore season. He will almost certainly hang onto that starting job in 2017-2018. He is not a major scoring threat and averaged just 4.5 points per game last year, but he did dish out 3.6 assists and tallied 1.2 steals. With a little improvement on his outside shot, Howard could emerge as a larger scoring threat, but at the least he will do a great job of setting up his teammates. Battle will again be the beneficiary of Howard’s playmaking ability. He averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman and connected on 60 three-pointers. Battle will have to take over an even bigger scoring load during his sophomore season, especially early in the year while others are still finding their roles on the team. Paschal Chukwu made it just three games into his Syracuse career before an injury sidelined him for the year. The Providence transfer is a 7-2 center who should make a big impact on the defensive end of the floor.
Final Projection:
This will be another very interesting year for the Orange. Losing Lydon and Thompson hurts, but there is talent here. There was talent last year too and the Orange were hoping for better things. This year a trip to the NIT should be considered a success while the young squad grows up together. Coach Jim Boeheim could still be around for a few more years to mold this group into something special. He will do it if everybody sticks around and there are not too many surprise defections. For now though, Syracuse just needs to build toward the future. With Coach Boeheim though, there is always the potential for a surprise. Just like last year, the Orange will pull off some upsets and from there all it takes is a little consistency to contend in the ACC and reach the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Frank Howard, Junior, Guard, 4.5 points per game
Geno Thorpe, Senior, Guard, 15.1 points per game (at South Florida)
Tyus Battle, Sophomore, Guard, 11.3 points per game
Matthew Moyer, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Pascal Chukwu, Junior, Center, 1.7 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.3 (105th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.1 (140, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (90, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (131, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (55, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.1 (47, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (65, 4)
Rebound Margin: -1.0 (236, 12)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (46, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (103, 11)
Madness 2018 NBA Draft Rankings:
#42 Tyus Battle
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#151 O'Shae Brissett