A hoops season that started with dreams of back-to-back Final Fours came to a close in the NIT as the one-seeded host Orange was sent packing by Ole Miss. But Syracuse has wasted no time in moving forward to what has been a whirlwind of an offseason.
The biggest domino to fall was coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins filling the big chair at Washington. Hopkins had been with SU since 1996 and had made himself into one of the best recruiters in the country. That torpedoed the succession plan leading into what was supposed to be Jim Boeheim’s swan song season. In order to stabilize the program, Boeheimn signed an extension and promptly promoted Adrian Autry to associate head coach. Allen Griffin reportedly will be hired to the staff.
Tyler Lydon also declared for the NBA Draft while Tyus Battle announced that he’ll return for his sophomore year. In an effort to replace some of the wing scoring lost to Lydon and Andrew White’s departures, Syracuse is attempting to get back into the recruiting race for Jordan Tucker. Formerly from New York but now residing in Georgia, Tucker would provide the Orange with some much-needed three-point shooting.
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And portions of next year’s schedule are starting to leak out. Syracuse will tangle with the Kansas Jayhawks in early December in Miami as part of the Hoophall Invitational. The Orange will also host Toledo, Oakland and Texas Southern as part of that tournament.
Syracuse’s streak of playing former Big East foes will continue with a visit to Georgetown and a clash against UConn at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. And expect the Orange to host a game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge after visiting Wisconsin last December.
The ACC has released home and away opponent for league play though dates and times are still unknown. Syracuse will play a home-and-home with Boston College, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Virginia. Home games only against Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. The away slate is hardly a walk in the park with trips to Duke, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and both Florida schools, Florida State and Miami.
All that less than a month after the close to the season, with plenty of news that will be coming in the offseason.
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