Our 2021-22 comprehensive Syracuse basketball preview

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 21: West Virginia Mountaineers against the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The last time we saw Syracuse basketball play, the Orange was eliminated by Houston in the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Plenty has changed since then as the roster has undergone a major offseason facelift.

We break it all down in our annual comprehensive Syracuse basketball preview.

It all starts with our review of the 2020-21 season, where Syracuse finished 16-9 overall and 9-7 in ACC play. Though the Orange struggled early on in the year as several players missed time because of COVID, SU finished strong, winning three of their last four games.

Syracuse dealt with departure of six different players either to other schools or to the pros with the arrival of a top-rated freshman and three upperclassmen transfers. We break down the projected starting lineup as well as all of the key reserves.

Jim Boeheim believes this roster is ready to be tested early with seven straight high-major games before the turn of the calendar year, and TJO associate editor Jim Stechschulte analyzes the entire schedule. Editor in chief Brad Bierman goes a step further, giving his game-by-game predictions.

What will the Orange’s bottom line be at season’s end? Jim believes that SU will be on the bubble (again), but will be on the inside of it (again). We’ve asked the same questions of other experts in the media, and former players on The Juice on the Cuse Podcast:

  • ESPN and SNY’s Tim Welsh called Syracuse a second weekend team last year, and he thinks the Orange is going to get to ‘at least’ the Sweet 16 this season
  • The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil says that if the Orange’s 2-3 defense can make improvements, they can be a surprise in a wide open ACC
  • Adam Zagoria from The NY Times and ZagsBlog.com thinks that the Orange is a mid-range ACC team, but that should be enough for an NCAA Tournament berth
  • Syracuse.com | The Post Standard’s Mike Waters tells us that while the Orange isn’t nationally ranked to start the season, the coaching staff believes the Orange is poised for a big year
  • Former Syracuse center Baye Moussa Keita is also confident that SU will find a way to make the NCAA Tournament

That should be plenty to read and listen to as we get closer to tonight’s 7 p.m. tipoff against Lafayette.

For more Syracuse coverage, Like our Facebook page, follow us @TheJuiceOnline and listen to our podcast.

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The Juice Online has covered Syracuse athletics since 1992. We are members of the SNY.tv Blog Network and the ACC Digital Network.