Syracuse Basketball: Orange's Best Situational Lineups for 2014-15

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Syracuse Basketball: Orange's Best Situational Lineups for 2014-15
USA TODAY Sports
Jim Boeheim and Rakeem Christmas

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will begin its 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against a familiar foe on Nov. 2.

The Carleton (Canada) Ravens will travel to the Carrier Dome in an attempt to avenge an exhibition loss to the Orange on Aug. 22 of last year. In that game, the Orange trailed 47-32 with less than 15 minutes to play, but a late run helped put the game into overtime, where Syracuse eked out a 69-65 win. Carleton defeated Wisconsin just two days prior, 95-82, so the Orange knew they’d be in for a fight.

Winners of 10 of the last 12 Canadian national championships, Carleton will be a great test for the Orange. Last season, the four-game exhibition trip to Canada served as a way to get freshman Tyler Ennis acclimated as the new Syracuse point guard. This season, the Orange will host two exhibitions, Carleton and the Division III Adrian (Michigan) Bulldogs on Nov. 10.

With C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita graduating and Ennis and Jerami Grant leaving for the NBA, these games will give Orange fans a chance to see the new-look Syracuse.

And it will be new-look.

Freshman Kaleb Joseph is primed to take over the reins as Syracuse’s fourth starting point guard in four years.

Rakeem Christmas, who graduated in three years and is playing his fourth year as a graduate student, could emerge as the post power the Orange have dreamed he’d be for the duration of his career.

Another freshman, Chris McCullough, will attempt to fill the power forward spot and could be a one-and-done player.

B.J. Johnson, Tyler Roberson, Ron Patterson and Chinonso Obokoh (redshirt) spent their freshmen years watching and learning. Each will have an opportunity to break out and fill the gaps left open by the 2014 exodus.

Junior Trevor Cooney will look to replicate the first two-thirds of last season, when he was one of the best three-point shooters in the country, and forget the last third, when he wasn’t.

Syracuse’s utility man, Michael Gbinije, will play both guard spots and probably a good bit of small forward.

Not to be forgotten is DaJuan Coleman, the biggest and strongest man on the roster, who may or may not be around for the start of the season after leg surgery sidelined him most of last season.

Coach Jim Boeheim will have his hands full trying to figure out which lineup will suit his team the best. Here’s a peek at the lineups Boeheim might throw on the court, depending on the situation.

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