Syracuse Basketball: Roundtable Season Prediction

Mar 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) shoots the ball after losing his shoe against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half in the championship game of the midwest regional of the NCAA Tournament at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Where will the Syracuse basketball team finish at the end of the season? Well our staff came together to give their predictions ahead of the season opener.

Everyone is excited for the Syracuse basketball season opener tonight against Colgate. So in honor of that we got our writing staff together to make their season predictions for the Cuse.

Of course we’re going to hold each other accountable at the end of the season to these, so lets see what happens!

Oct 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Syracuse Orange coach Jim Boeheim speaks to the media during ACC Operation Basketball at The Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Lee (@Ryan_Lee31)

The upcoming basketball season for the Syracuse Men’s basketball team looks to return the Orange to the elite in the country. Cuse will introduce many new cogs to Coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone machine. No preseason tournaments this season will be made up by marquee games such as at Wisconsin (ACC/Big Ten Challenge), South Carolina (Barclays), Connecticut (MSG), and hosting both Georgetown and St. Johns.

This will allow 5 new additions, that will be eligible to play, to blend and come together leading into the ACC schedule that will look completely different than a year before. After a tough schedule last season, the Orange will play only four of the ACC preseason coaches’ poll on the road (Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and NC State) with Louisville the only of those teams they play twice.

My expectations are Syracuse will use that early part of the season to come together and mesh into the team that will look to compete in the ACC, BUT don’t be concerned if they use a late second half run against a team like Monmouth early on to win a game comfortably. Andrew White and Tyus Battle offensively will be the keys to allow Tyler Lydon to take the step that is expected by so many this year. This team will need to rebound and defend the paint. This team should be a lock for the NCAA Tournament by the time they head to Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament. A team will the caliber to be expected to make the 2nd weekend of the NCAA Tournament and can even make a ACC heavy Final Four.

Prediction: Regular Season 26-5 (13-5)

Mar 18, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Franklin Howard (1) works around Dayton Flyers guard Scoochie Smith (11)during the first half of the first round in the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Fabian (@Fabs_315)

My bold prediction for this year’s Syracuse Basketball team is that they end the season with 25 wins, slightly better than last season’s total of 23. Even with losing their three leading scorers, I think that the balance and versatility that Coach Jim Boeheim has acquired over the offseason gives this team enough weapons to improve upon last year’s term. While it’s extremely hard to predict how all of these new parts will shape up on the court, I am going into the season with the mindset of anything less than an Elite 8 (Or farther) appearance is a disappointment in my eyes.

While the acquisitions of Andrew White, John Gillon, Tyus Battle, and Paschal Chukwu are all intriguing, I am most interested in seeing the development of a returning player. Frank Howard was my favorite player to watch on last years team, because his IQ was unlike many other freshman that I had seen. Saddled with a broken thumb and confidence issues due to Boeheim’s incessant criticism and short leash, I thought Howard could have been even better than he was in what was already an impressive freshman campaign. He has bulked up, and is shooting with much more confidence through the first two exhibition games, which gives me hope that he has already addressed two of the major weaknesses in his game. If Howard can play with confidence and be the floor general that this team so desperately needs, then the sky really is the limit for the 2016-2017 Syracuse Orange.
Prediction: Regular Season 25-6 (13-5)

Mar 10, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Andrew White III (3) takes a shot against Wisconsin Badgers forward Ethan Happ (22) during the Big Ten Conference tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Neil Adler

Okay, I’ve looked into my crystal ball, and here’s what I see taking place for the Syracuse men’s basketball team this year. A regular-season mark of 24-7, including

11-2 in the non-conference slate (losses at Wisconsin and to UConn at Madison Square Garden). An ACC record of 13-5, good for a top-four conference finish.

Sophomore Tyler Lydon leads the squad in scoring, with graduate transfer Andrew White III the runner-up. The key player: freshman Tyus Battle, who will become the latest sixth-man stud for the Orange. A second graduate transfer, John Gillon, is the X-factor, providing a huge spark off the bench by getting out in transition, hitting timely 3-pointers, and knocking down late-game free throws.

Syracuse will earn a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advance to the Elite Eight. I think ‘Cuse’s floor in the Big Dance is the Sweet 16, and its ceiling is the Final Four, so I’m picking in between those two. My “bold” prediction: the Orange wins its first-ever ACC Tournament game next March!

Prediction: Regular Season 24-7 (13-5)

Oct 26, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tyler Roberson of the Syracuse Orange speaks to the media during ACC Operation Basketball at The Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Kimmel (@EthanKimmel)

As the Orange come off an incredible season in which they reached the Final Four, expectations are higher than ever. Even at #19 in the country, Syracuse fans alike are confident that this team will soar in the rankings as the season gets underway. This team is very well put together.

They have their star in Tyler Lydon, who looks to be a lottery pick next year. They have an experienced forward in Andrew White, who brings so much to the table. He can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and play lock-down defense.

Although just a freshman, Tyus Battle will bring instant offense. His ability to heat up from the three-point line and get to the charity strike will be a huge asset for the Orange. Syracuse’s two big men, Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman, will hold down the fort, just like they did last season.
This is the best team Boeheim has had in years. I believe this team is capable of a 25 win season and at least a run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Prediction: Regular Season 25-6 (12-6)

Ty Butler (@TyDButler)

This team is talented with a ton of depth and with the right rotations used during games could make it right back to the Final Four. Having to replace your top three scorers from the previous season is never easy, the additions of Andrew White and Tyus Battle with the maturation of Tyler Lydon will pay dividends.
The player I’m most intrigued to see is White because he can fill glaring holes from a season before. Syracuse struggled with spacing at times and with transition offense. White shot 41 percent from downtown last year for Nebraska. If he can hover around that this year for the Orange, that would obviously put them in a favorable position. His length and athleticism will help with fastbreak points as well. And if Lydon continues to develop on both ends, that would put this team over the top. He’s a big that could spread the floor and be distributive in the paint. I’m most interested to see a Frank Howard/Battle/White/Lydon/Roberson lineup. This group provides ball handling, spacing, quickness, athleticism, and would be fun to watch.
Prediction: Regular Season 23-8 (13-5)

Apr 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim talks with center DaJuan Coleman (32) in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2016 NCAA Men

Paul A. Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25)

I’ll say it if no one else has, this is the most excited I’ve been for a Syracuse season in history. This team’s cupboard is stacked from top to bottom with surreal depth at every position. Last year a less talented team overachieved and now this year’s squad has even higher expectations.

“Who is the player that most intrigues me on this Syracuse team?”

If you asked me this question every other day this week, I’d probably give you a different answer. All of the answers above me from my staff can make compelling cases for any player on the roster. I’ll go the Dajuan Coleman route and here’s why. This guy came in as a McDonald’s All-American and seemed like he could be a difference maker. But multiple surgeries and rehabs later he is a shell of the player he used to be.

But he has a chance to change that now that he’s finally healthy. Will he ever reach the unrealistic hype that was built around him? Probably not. We just spoke of the depth from Taurean Thompson to Tyler Lydon to Coleman, they’ve got a lot of options which should put less pressure on Coleman to be a superstar.

In terms of how far this team can go? I was a lone-wolf last season when I said that they could go all the way to a title. Was there some Cuse bias? Maybe, but I think this team has all the tools for a championship run. Anything less than the Final Four in my eyes would be an utter disappointment.

Prediction: Regular Season 27-4 (12-6)

This article originally appeared on