After a somewhat improbable run to the 2013 Final Four, the Syracuse men's basketball team went through some serious roster turnover. Gone is point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who was a lottery pick in this year's NBA draft.
With him went seniors Brandon Triche and James Southerland. Triche started every game throughout his four-year career and ended up as the program's all-time leader in games started and played. Southerland had to work his way into the rotation as his career progressed, but his three-point shooting (39.8 percent in 2012-13) was a valuable weapon to a team that had few outside shooting threats.
After losing three major contributors, it would be easy to write the 'Cuse off as a middle-of-the-road team this year. However, Jim Boeheim still has plenty of talent to work with, and the 2013-14 version of Syracuse basketball could be just as good, or even better, than last year's squad. Here are five reasons Syracuse can make a return trip to the Final Four.
*All stats courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise noted.