A quick take on Syracuse’s pre-season prediction at the annual ACC Operation Basketball event held in Charlotte Wednesday, and released Thursday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: In a vote of the media members attending the event, SU was picked 10th with 420 points, its lowest preseason ranking since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season. No Orange players were selected to the all-conference first, second or third teams, while freshman forward Oshae Brissett received one vote for ACC Rookie of the Year. Duke, as expected, was voted as the top preseason team, followed by North Carolina, Notre Dame, Miami, and Louisville. Big man Bonzie Colson of the Irish was named preseason player of the year.
ANALYSIS: While it’s unusual to see a Jim Boeheim-coached team this far down the pecking order, with only two returning players that saw significant playing time last season, Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, it’s not surprising that the media has taken a wait and see approach concerning SU. The ‘Cuse will be counting on five newcomers to the program, plus big man Paschal Chukwu who only played in seven games last year before an eye injury ended his season.
HERO: Brissett, from Mississauga, Ontario (Toronto suburb), has earned rave reviews since summer workouts and during preseason practice, and could end up starting at some point this year, while no doubt likely seeing plenty of minutes per game.
ZERO: The fact that Battle didn’t earn more consideration for at least third team after averaging just over 11 points playing in all 34 games last season. Then again, there is plenty of talent on the rosters of the league’s 15 teams.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues preseason practice at the Melo Center prior to its exhibition game opener against the Div. II Southern New Hampshire Penmen, on Wed., Nov. 1. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/TV: ACC Network Extra.