The last week of December and the first week of January mean two things for Syracuse: The non-conference schedule is winding down and Big East play is about to start.
The Orange will play four games in the next two weeks. The two remaining in December are against non-conference foes, while the new year begins with matchups against Big East teams.
Syracuse has had a great start to the season, winning its first 10 games. In that stretch, coach Jim Boeheim earned his 900th career victory. In the Orange's last outing, they were defeated for the first time in 2012, losing 83-79 to the Temple Owls.
For the season, Syracuse ranks fifth in the nation in points, averaging 83 per game. The roster features a solid mix of young talent and experienced veterans. James Southerland, Brandon Triche, C.J. Fair and Baye Keita all played important roles on last year's team that advanced to the Elite 8.
Southerland, a senior, currently leads the team with 15 points per game.
Freshman guard Trevor Cooney has contributed over 14 minutes a game and looks like a perfect fit for the Orange.
Looking at the next four games, the Orange should able to end 2012 and ring in 2013 with victories.