Orange Watch: 2018-19 Syracuse basketball, other sports developments to note

Matt Moyer
Syracuse forward Matt Moyer drives during the first half of the Orange's game against Pitt. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Item: The sweet run to the Sweet 16 concluded with a gutsy 40 minute attempt at knocking off an opponent that just happens to be your biggest conference rival in Duke and Coach K., as knowledgeable a head coach that knows Jim Boeheim’s program as anyone.

We barely finished putting one of the questions in this story below, when it was partially answered with Matthew Moyer’s Monday announcement that he is transferring after two years overall in the program and one, injury-interrupted 2017-18 season on the court.

Before Jim Boeheim gets the first look at his 43rd Orange edition next November, we’ll know a lot more about the following Syracuse athletics stories, in (somewhat) chronological order:

  • How the 2018-19 basketball roster will look when pre-season practice begins?
  • Will Tyus Battle turn pro?
  • Does Oshae Brissett return?
  • Do any players transfer? (Now updated to read: “Do any other players transfer joining Moyer?”)
  • All three freshmen recruits arrive as expected, with a potential additional newcomer
  • Will there be any notable changes to the coaching and support staff?

» Related: An early look at the 2018-19 Syracuse basketball team

After knocking-off then-No. 3 ranked (media poll) Duke on the road last weekend to go to 4-3 overall and 2-0 on the road in the ACC, the rapidly developing Syracuse lacrosse team, ranked 10/12 itself this week, has its next exam in the Dome Saturday against conference rival and No. 7/4 rated Notre Dame (5:00 p.m. ET / ESPNU), eventually eyeing an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

With a schedule that consists of eight teams ranked in the preseason Top 20, is John Desko’s hunch that he would take his lumps (12 and 11 goal blowout losses against No. 1 Albany, and Johns Hopkins, respectively) while his young talent grows up against tough competition each week, paying off?

  • It’s starts at the X. Will the main trio of Dan Varello, Seth DeLisle, and Nick Martin get the job done?
  • Will defense continue to jell around goalie Dom Madonna and defenseman Nick Mellen, who is the reigning ACC defensive player of the week?
  • Isn’t it great to see the kind over spread out production that nine different players scored the 15 goals in the win over Duke?

The football team is in the midst of spring ball, with seven practices remaining as of March 27, ending with the “Spring Preview” in the Dome on Friday, April 13 (7:00 p.m. / ACC Extra).

  • All eyes are on quarterback Eric Dungey as he recovers from off season foot surgery. Will there be a battle for the starting job this summer between Dungey and Tommy DiVito?
  • With 15 returning starters, just how much will the team grow and develop ACC quality backups in Dino Babers third season? There seems to be an evolution of more speed and size to compete in conference play, with the best recruiting class in a while set to join the incumbents this summer.
  • How will the coaching staff moves shake out? Losing co-offensive coordinator Sean Lewis to Kent State meant some reshuffling among the responsibilities among Barbers’ offensive assistants, with some changes on the defensive side as well.

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2017-18 Syracuse basketball report card
An early look at the 2018-19 Syracuse basketball team

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Brad Bierman
About Brad Bierman 488 Articles
Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.