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Syracuse Orange men's basketball 2018-19 season preview

Syracuse 

2017-18 record: 23-14, 8-10 in the ACC 

Head coach: Jim Boeheim 

Tenure at Syracuse: 43rd year 

Career coaching record: 926-368 

Home court: Carrier Dome 

Starters: G Frank Howard, G Tyus Battle, F Oshae Brissett, F Marek Dolezaj, C Paschal Chukwu 

Bench: G Jalen Carey, F Robert Braswell, F Elijah Hughes, F Bourama Sidibe, G Buddy Boeheim, G Ky Feldman 

Overview: In the 2017-18 season, Syracuse looked to overcome its performance from the previous year, which saw the team fail to make the NCAA tournament. That motivation fueled Syracuse to a 23-14 record, finishing 11th in the ACC and just qualifying for March Madness as one of the teams in the First Four. The Orange beat Arizona State before upsetting No. 6 TCU and No. 3 Michigan State in the first two rounds, but they were then eliminated by Duke in the Sweet 16. 

The team will retain a majority of its core from last year. Junior Tyus Battle, sophomore Oshae Brissett and senior Frank Howard led Syracuse in scoring last year and will return for the next season. They are joined by sophomore Marek Dolejaz and senior Paschal Chukwu, who also played key roles as starters last year.  

The team will welcome three new players, most notably point guard Jalen Carey, who was ranked the 38th best recruit from the Class of 2018 by ESPN. Shooting guard Buddy Boeheim and small forward Robert Braswell are two other freshmen new to the team. All three freshmen will likely be given time to develop off the bench behind the leadership and experience of the veteran starting five as the Orange look to advance further in the NCAA tournament this season. 

One thing that needs to go right: None of the returning bench players were able to average more than five points per game last season. Syracuse will need to find scoring off the bench to supplement the starters’ contributions and improve offensively. 

One thing that could go wrong: Behind the established backcourt of Howard and Battle, Carey may stagnate under limited minutes coming off the bench, slowing his growth and keeping him from being a valuable offensive contributor. 

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