Orange Watch: How have things been for Syracuse since Christmas?

Syracuse won't play in the NCAA Tourney this year
How have the last two months gone for Syracuse?

It’s time to follow up on four of the items on the Orange Watch Christmas Wish List (in italics below) published this past Dec. 25, and see how the developments have turned out two months later:

For the basketball team to stay positive, practice hard, cut down on the turnovers; get better at playing the zone. Defense is what will win ballgames in the ACC.

Well, we know how year two in the ACC has played out with a self-imposed post-season ban and the season-ending injury to Chris McCullough not helping the team’s lack of depth. Only one Boeheim-coached team (2007-08) has lost as many as 14 times in a season.

For the basketball team not have an alternative uniform game (unless it’s the standard blue third jersey to the current white/orange set, last worn in 2008 at Notre Dame), forced to wear the latest Nike concoction.

Fat chance this wish would come true, not in this day and age of the big three apparel makers (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) doing anything they can to move more merchandise. For the Orange, at least the new “Hyper Elite” Nike model to be worn in the home finale March 2 against Virginia has orange numbers, instead of the current mismatched (and universally hated), non-school color silver numerals.

» Related: CJ Fair tells Syracuse fans to keep hope alive

For the lacrosse team to take advantage of the fact that six of its first seven games are in the friendly confines of the Dome, granted against some pretty good teams, and the other game is in Georgia against St. John’s for a second straight year. The schedule provides an opportunity for a strong start in the balanced world of Div. I lax.

So far, so good, following Sunday evening’s 12-9 win over Army to improve the lax team to 3-0 and a No. 2/3 ranking, with the ACC opener coming up next on March 1 against No. 5 Virginia in the Dome (12:00 p.m. ET / ESPNU). Sophomore faceoff specialist Ben Williams has been impressive in securing a foothold on the most important aspect of the sport – possession, with SU winning 70% of the draws so far, and after a 21 of 25 performance against the Black Knights Williams is the reigning ACC defensive player of the week. Junior attack Dylan Donahue is the ACC (co) offensive player for the second straight week; he’s the team scoring leader with 11 goals and four assists.

For the football team to have a true quarterback battle in spring practice, taking advantage of the spanking new indoor practice facility, with heralded recruit Alin Edouard getting to campus to compete with the three returnees.

There’s no doubt the starting quarterback job is Terrel Hunt’s to lose in his final season of eligibility, as he currently competes with backups Austin Wilson and AJ Long in workouts continuing Tuesday afternoon at the recently-named Ensley Athletic Center. Alas, 2014 recruit Edouard from Miami never made it to campus while he sorts out his academic record at a Kansas junior college, but 2015 quarterback signees Eric Dungey (Oregon) and Kenterius Womack (Alabama) are expected to arrive this summer.

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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.