The 2013-14 edition of the Syracuse men’s basketball program has some lofty goals for the season, highest of which is cutting down the nets in Arlington, Texas, the site of the next national championship game.
In the last two seasons, Syracuse has made it to the Elite Eight and Final Four, successively, so continuing the pattern and getting back to the national championship game isn’t too farfetched, but with a move to a more forward-driven lineup from the past few years of guard dominance, the Orange have their work cut out for them.
This means that to achieve the team’s goal, each player must play a significant role in the development and maturation of the new Syracuse lineup.
Gone are Michael Carter-Williams, James Southerland and Brandon Triche, who were three of the top four scorers for the Orange. The Orange also lost one of the nation’s leaders in assists and steals in Carter-Williams, its main three-point threat in Southerland and its defense-wrecking dynamo in Triche.
Combined, Triche, Carter-Williams and Southerland averaged 38.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and 12.0 assists per game.
The entire Syracuse roster averaged 70.4 points, 38.4 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game.
This means that Syracuse will enter this season without 55 percent of its scoring, 35 percent of its rebounding and 85 percent of its assists.
But all is not bleak.
Returning is senior forward C.J. Fair, who led the Orange in scoring, rebounding and, oh by the way, was almost a 47-percent three-point shooter (30-of-64).
Also stepping into the lineup is newcomer Tyler Ennis, who will be the Orange’s starting—and only—point guard.
Some other familiar faces, such as Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney and DaJuan Coleman, will pepper the lineup, which will have considerable size in both height and mass. The Orange’s ability to use that size to its advantage while integrating its youth with its experience will be the key to the team’s success throughout the year.
Here’s a look at the biggest goals each starting player must achieve in order to make up for its losses from last year and have a successful season this year.
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