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2019-20 Syracuse men's basketball preview

Syracuse Orange

2018-19 record: 20-14, 10-8 in the ACC

Head coach: Jim Boeheim

Tenure at Syracuse: 44th season

Career coaching record: 1047-385

Home court: Carrier Dome

Starters: G Jalen Carey, G Buddy Boeheim, F Elijah Hughes, F Quincy Guerrier, F Bourama Sidibe

Bench: F Marek Dolezaj, F Robert Braswell, G Howard Washington, G Brycen Goodine, G Joseph Girard III 

Overview: For the second time in Boeheim's coaching career, he will have no seniors on the team. The Orange lost four starters from last season, most notably Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett to the NBA, and will enter the season with tempered expectations. As such, the junior class will be expected to step up, led by Hughes and Sidibe on the starting lineup and Dolezaj playing meaningful minutes off the bench. Instead of relying on one or two scorers as it has in the past, Syracuse may have a more balanced offense and potent shooting with Hughes, Buddy Boeheim and Girard, who will push for playing time as a true freshman.

On the defensive side, the Orange are synonymous with the 2-3 zone. However, with the aforementioned losses to the pros and Paschal Chukwu and Frank Howard out of eligibility, the length, experience and communication to run such a zone may be lacking and Boeheim has hinted at man-to-man defense.

One thing that needs to go right: Boeheim puts together a solid defense with a balanced offense and Syracuse finds itself where it has in almost every other season in recent memory—firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble. 

One thing that could go wrong: The Orange do not have a defensive identity, their lack of experience is too much too overcome and Syracuse falls toward the bottom tier of the ACC standings. 

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