Orange Watch: Interesting week to watch how Syracuse basketball bounces back

Syracuse has a tough week ahead of it
Syracuse has a tough week ahead of it

Item: Longtime nemesis Boston College and road-tested Miami at the Carrier Dome, and a first-ever meeting against North Carolina in its Dean Dome on the next edition of Big Monday, provides quite an agenda over the next week that will continue to tell us more about the direction this year’s ‘Cuse team takes, in what’s already an unusual, lack-of-experienced-roster-depth season.

Ever have one those overnights when restlessly awake for whatever reason you notice the time on the nearest device reads a ghastly 3:23 a.m., and instead of taking some sort of pill you start thinking of things you enjoy in life to hopefully help put you in a relaxed frame of mind to return to sleep?

You know something like Syracuse basketball, and the recent unparalleled run of success the program has savored spoiling Orange Nation and coinciding with the Melo Center’s opening in September 2009. Add the ‘what if’ thoughts that had undergraduate NBA draftees Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant returned to school, and DaJuan Coleman/Chris McCullough not been lost for the bulk of the season with an injury, plus the unforeseen, startling development of current ACC Player of the Week Rakeem Christmas turning into a first team all-conference performer, and sweet thoughts develop of how indeed the Orange (13-5, 4-1) would be challenging Virginia and Duke for conference supremacy and a Top 5 national ranking.

» Related: Syracuse will be a bubble team this season

And your mind continues…..thinking that heading into Tuesday evening’s revenge-seeking meeting with Boston College (8-8, 0-4) for the end to last February’s 25 game winning streak (7:00 p.m. ET / ESPNU), the schedule-friendly initial portion of league play does have this year’s team only one game back in the loss column of the mighty looking, No. 2 ranked Cavaliers, and hopefully by that point you’re starting to drift…..back……..unconsciousness.

Now, back to the reality of coming off the Clemson defeat last weekend, the first game of the season among the five losses that was essentially over at halftime, having none of those aforementioned missing players amongst a roster going only eight scholarships deep, the looming announcement of some sort of sanctions from the NCAA’s Division I Committee on Infractions, with heightened recent talk on social media channels and message boards running the gamut from a one season post-season ban and lost scholarships to forfeited past victories, none of which has been substantiated, and it’s back to the business at hand of playing the next game on the board beginning with BC.

“We’ve just got to put this game behind us,” Kaleb Joseph said after his stronger second half of play in the one-sided loss to Clemson. “(BC’s) going to be a tough game just like all the ACC games, and we’re looking to (come back strong).”

In the race for as many conference victories as possible before the heavy back-end of the schedule features five of the final seven games against teams currently ranked in the Top 10, anything but a win over BC Tuesday would in of itself be enough to keep any Orange fan up at night.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth 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.