Syracuse men’s basketball beat writers predict team’s record, postseason finish, MVP

first_img Published on November 10, 2016 at 8:14 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse opens its season on Friday in the Carrier Dome against Colgate at 7 p.m. The Orange is leaning on three transfers — Paschal Chukwu, Andrew White and John Gillon — to fill holes in the its lineup left by the departure of last year’s top three scorers.Here’s how our beat writers think the season will play out.Connor GrossmanRegular Season Record: 22-9NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16MVP: Tyler LydonX-Factor: Andrew WhiteIn supposedly the penultimate season of his career, Jim Boeheim faces the challenge of meshing his most diversified roster in years. Returning starters will share the floor with fifth-year transfers and first-year players. This melting pot of experience will not mix perfectly together, and Boeheim may not fully figure his team out until a few weeks of conference play. But there’s undeniable talent, from a budding star in Tyler Lydon to dynamic freshman Tyus Battle. Nebraska transfer Andrew White needs to help Lydon fuel the offense, and SU will survive long enough to tease a deep run into March.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt SchneidmanRegular Season Record: 24-7NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16MVP: Tyus BattleX-Factor: Paschal ChukwuOn paper, Syracuse has a far better chance to reach the Final Four than it did last season. The Orange has more pieces to help it get there, and a 24-7 regular season will set SU up for a No. 3 or 4 seed in the Big Dance. Paschal Chukwu, all 7 feet, 2 inches of him, proves to be Syracuse’s X-factor by anchoring one of the country’s best defenses from the middle of the zone. This year, though, the Orange’s run ends in the Sweet 16 and team MVP Tyus Battle has a tough decision to stay in school or enter the NBA Draft.Paul SchwedelsonRegular season record: 23-8NCAA Tournament Finish: Sweet 16MVP: Tyler LydonX-Factor: Tyus BattleJim Boeheim will have the chance this year to go four or even five deep on the bench, allowing Syracuse to be more flexible in its schemes. Expect to see more full-court pressing and more transition offense. The most indispensable player on the team will be Tyler Lydon, who can play either forward position and center based on the lineup surrounding him. Boeheim said he’s “probably” the only player he’s coached that has done that. Likely coming off the bench will be Tyus Battle, who has already shown in exhibitions he can provide a spark. How SU’s new players mesh together will determine this team’s fate. Commentslast_img

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