Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday - for Basketball |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Monday for Basketball


Co 2020-21 Iggy Award Winner MPG (special again)
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to Hug a Bear Day!

No, this is not a day for going out into the wild and hugging bears; it is a day when people hug their teddy bear, the comfort animal that was named after the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. In November 1902, Roosevelt, an avid hunter, went on a hunting excursion organized by Mississippi's governor, Andrew Longino, in Smedes, Mississippi. Roosevelt was accompanied by some aides, other hunters, and reporters, as well as a hunting guide, Holt Collier, and his hunting dogs. After a few days without success, Roosevelt and the hunting dogs were on the trail of a black bear. Having thought that they had lost the bear, Roosevelt went back to camp, but Collier and his dogs kept searching. Collier and his dogs found the 235 pound bear, and the dogs circled it and began biting and attacking it. The bear killed one of the dogs, and Collier clubbed the bear over the head and tied it to a tree. He bugled for Roosevelt, who found the bear mauled from the the dogs, and refused to shoot it. He also forbade anyone else from shooting it, but as the bear was so injured, he had the bear put out of its misery by having it be killed with a hunting knife.

SU News


Daily Orange

READY TO GO: With Jesse Edwards, Syracuse has the scoring center it’s been missing for years (DO; Smith)

Jesse Edwards was a long, lanky freshman with limited basketball experience when he first suited up for Syracuse. Former SU center Roosevelt Bouie tagged along an August 2019 exhibition tour in Italy, and while watching a team featuring future NBA players Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes, it was Edwards who stood out.

Bouie saw Edwards’ skill set: his sharp moves around the basket, soft touch, strong hands and floor-running abilities. “Holy crap,” Bouie said to himself. The former All-American, who played at SU from 1976-80, didn’t have that floor presence until his junior year. Edwards was an incoming freshman.

Edwards’ abilities were always clear to Bouie. Not so to everyone else. Edwards saw limited minutes in his freshman and sophomore seasons before starting last year. Head coach Jim Boeheim repeatedly said he wasn’t ready. Edwards contemplated transferring.

This season, Edwards will be one of Syracuse’s top scoring weapons, tasked to control the paint on both ends. His skills have always been there — he’s athletic, has a 7-foot-4 wingspan, can block shots, finish around the rim and win one-on-one post matchups. Syracuse hasn’t had a center like Edwards in six years. And now, after fully recovering from February’s season-ending wrist injury and playing against top NBA players over the summer, Edwards is equipped to show everyone why Bouie believed in him from that first game in Italy.

“From the day he came in, you could see the potential was there,” Boeheim said. “He’s gotten better every year… He’s stronger, he sees the game better, understands the game better, and is just improved.”

Recently, Syracuse centers have rarely gotten significant post touches with their back to the basket. Tyler Lydon, the last SU post player to average double-digit points before Edwards, said a center with offensive talent takes pressure off everyone else, and makes it harder on defenses.

“He’s going to have to step up big time,” Lydon said. “I think that his position and him being able to score the basketball is going to be huge.”


Megan Thompson | Digital Design Director

RELENTLESS: Judah Mintz is ‘ready’ to be the next great Syracuse guard (DO; Vasudevan)

Judah Mintz studied Syracuse even deeper once it started to recruit him after he decommitted from Pittsburgh. Former Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith said Mintz is a “basketball historian,” and he spent time looking at the history behind Jim Boeheim’s program and more specifically, the players who have been in similar positions to him.

“He’s had an opportunity to learn what Syracuse basketball history is,” said Camara Mintz, Mintz’s father.

Mintz watched clips of Tyler Ennis, Johnny Flynn and Frank Howard. He discovered he had similar traits to them athletically and learned the key to performing at Syracuse — you don’t need the ball to have a presence.

“When you look at the great Syracuse guards, they’re complete players,” Eric Devendorf said. “Whenever they stepped up on the floor, they wanted to rip apart whoever was in front of them, whether that was offensively or defensively. They had that dog mentality.”

Head coach Jim Boeheim said Mintz is one of the best freshman point guards he’s ever had. He’s been compared to Flynn and Ennis because of his explosiveness and his change of pace, and he’s set to start this season. Symir Torrence said Mintz “is just ready,” as years in the AAU circuit with Team Durant and Oak Hill Academy gave him the skills to add his name to the list of top Syracuse guards.

Under Smith, Oak Hill has consistently bred the best high school players in the country. Devendorf played at Oak Hill with Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson in the 2004-05 season. Prior to helping Syracuse win a national championship in 2003, Carmelo Anthony starred under Smith.

In Smith’s final season at Oak Hill, he welcomed Mintz after the point guard had spent his last three years at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. Smith said Mintz faced tough competition at Gonzaga, but he wanted to test his skills nationally. Devendorf said players at Oak Hill are already “prepared for the next level” after a season in the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference.

“He definitely has a leg up coming from Oak Hill and being coached by Smith, who’s one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time,” Devendorf said.


Megan Thompson | Digital Design Director

NATURAL 2: Joe Girard looks to return as SU’s top scorer following move to shooting guard (DO; Alandt)

Arleen Girard’s mornings used to always start the same way. She would walk into her son’s room around 7 a.m. He’d sit up in his crib, stand and yell “ball, ball.” Arleen would carry Joe Girard III downstairs where a Little Tikes basketball hoop stood. The household’s split-level design allowed Girard to stand on the top two steps leading to the living room. Half asleep, Arleen would sit underneath the basket and rebound for Girard for about an hour before work.

Girard loved to shoot over the weekends, too. Over the next few years, the Little Tikes hoop moved outside, where Girard spent the majority of his day.

“When he was able to walk, he was always dribbling a basketball,” Arleen said.

At 4 years old, he started playing organized basketball at the YMCA in Glens Falls, New York. Donning a red USA jersey, he’d match his jersey with red shorts, red high-top Jordan’s and a red arm sleeve, imitating his favorite NBA players.

Girard came to Syracuse as a point guard. For three years, he drew attention as a 3-point scorer and playmaker from the point. But with the addition of Judah Mintz, the 33rd overall prospect in the 2022 class, Girard is moving to the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

“It’s just another way for me to compete,” Girard said. “It’s probably the more fun spot in the Syracuse offense just because of the way we run our offense through the wings.”

Growing up as a Miami Heat fan, Girard loved watching Dwyane Wade. Sometimes, he’d make Arleen count down from eight to zero, running around the living room and imitating a Wade game-winning shot.

Opponent Preview: What to know about Lehigh (DO; Smith)

After the first losing season in the Jim Boeheim era, Syracuse returns to the court Monday night against Lehigh. The Orange return two starters, Joe Girard III and Jesse Edwards, and add a talented group of freshmen from a recruiting class that ranked top-25 nationally, per 247Sports.

SU opens its season with a slate of winnable games, and there’s a chance it won’t face a power-conference team until the end of November when it travels to Illinois for the Atlantic Coast Conference-Big Ten Challenge. Syracuse’s first three games are inside the JMA Wireless Dome, and after its game against the Mountain Hawks, the Orange will have an eight-day break before facing Colgate.

Here’s everything to know about Lehigh before Monday night’s matchup:

All-time series

Syracuse leads, 4-0.

Last time they played

Syracuse and Lehigh last met under similar circumstances in 2015, when the Mountain Hawks traveled to the Dome for both teams’ season-opener. Syracuse won the defensive battle 57-47, and outscored Lehigh 32-12 in the first half. But the Mountain Hawks outscored the Orange by 10 in the second half. Both teams struggled shooting the ball, with Lehigh making just 2-of-17 3-point attempts, and the Orange converting on less than 35% of their shots.

Michael Gbinije took over as SU’s starting point guard and tied a game-high with 16 points. Freshman Malachi Richardson added 14 points and six rebounds, and Tyler Lydon had 11 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. Lehigh center Tim Kempton notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The win was the first of 23 the Orange recorded in the 2015-16 season, culminating with a run to the Final Four. Syracuse snuck into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed and rattled off four straight wins, including a comeback one over top-seeded Virginia, to advance to the semifinals, where it ultimately fell to North Carolina. The season was the last time SU went to the Final Four, and the fifth in Boeheim’s tenure.

The Mountain Hawks report

Lehigh enters the season ranked bottom-third nationally, per KenPom. The Mountain Hawks haven’t had a winning season since 2018-19, and finished 13-19 last year, though they did secure a winning record in Patriot League play. Lehigh lost a tight game to Rutgers, and fell at Virginia by 18 in November. A mid-December game in Syracuse was canceled after several SU players tested positive for COVID-19.

Last year’s leading scorer, Evan Taylor, returns for his senior season in Lehigh’s backcourt. Taylor averaged 13 points per game and 5.8 rebounds, garnering third-team all-conference honors. Fellow guard Keith Higgins Jr., who led the Mountain Hawks with 70 assists last year, also returns, though Lehigh lost two of its top three leading scorers.

Mintz will join a select group of SU freshmen to start at point guard from Day 1 (PS; $; Waters)

Jason Hart. Jonny Flynn. Brandon Triche.

Judah Mintz nodded as each name was ticked off. The list consisted of Syracuse point guards who had started from Day 1 at Syracuse.

“I know them,’’ Mintz said. “I know them all.’’

On Monday night, Mintz will join that trio of former Orange players when he is introduced as Syracuse’s starting guard in the season opener against Lehigh at the JMA Wireless Dome.

In addition to Hart, Flynn and Triche, Gerry McNamara, Tyler Ennis and Kaleb Joseph are the three other freshmen who started at point guard in the regular-season opener in the past 25 years at Syracuse.

Those half-dozen offer a wide range of personal and team success. Three were on teams that didn’t play in the NCAA Tournament. Two were on teams that were ranked No. 1 in the country at some point in the season. One — McNamara — played on the 2003 NCAA championship team.

In his first two appearances in a Syracuse uniform — both exhibition games prior to Monday’s season opener — Mintz showed flashes of potential, while also making mistakes expected of a freshman.

“He’s a really good player, really talented, and he’ll learn,’’ Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “It’s just not going to happen today. It’s going to take some time.’’

Joe Girard isn’t among the Syracuse point guards who started in their college debuts, but he still knows the pressures of being a first-year starter in the lead guard position. Girard came off the bench for the first two games of his freshman year before moving into the starting lineup in the third game of the 2019-20 season.

“It’s a big learning curve,’’ Girard said. “Honestly, it just smacks you in the face. There’s really no way to game plan for it or prepare for it until you get out there in a game. That’s why these exhibition games are so crucial for us because you can go in practice each and every day and do what you want, but once you get out into a game, it’s a new ball game.’’

Beat writers predict Syracuse will outmatch Lehigh in season opener (DO; Staff)

Syracuse’s opening two exhibition games were opposite to each other. Syracuse trailed at halftime against Indiana University of Pennsylvania before an offensive resurgence in the second half gave the Orange a comfortable cushion.

The following week against Southern New Hampshire, Jim Boeheim said the first half was “very well played,” but SU flatlined in the second. Boeheim said the Orange only won because they were better, they didn’t overpower anyone.

Now, Syracuse begins its regular season at home against Lehigh. It would have faced the Mountain Hawks last season, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 protocol. Lehigh hasn’t had a winning season since 2018-19.

Here is what our beat writers think will happen when Lehigh visits the JMA Wireless Dome on Monday:

Anish Vasudevan (0-0)
Syracuse 72, Lehigh 58

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim referred to the performance against Southern New Hampshire as “horrendous, awful.” Still, SU got rid of some of its kinks, figuring out how to fit a variety of young options into its lineup. Judah Mintz showed why he’s been receiving so much praise prior to the season, scoring 14 points versus IUP. Shorter players outrebounded Jesse Edwards and Benny Williams at times, but they showed how they can be crucial on the glass when they’re at their best.

Now, the Orange will need to improve offensively each game. They can’t fall behind early. And the defense — man-to-man or zone, which Boeheim said are both works in progress — shouldn’t become the Achilles’ heel of the team for the second straight season. But both of these shouldn’t be an issue against a subpar Lehigh, who lost 10 of its 11 games to start off last year.

Connor Smith (0-0)
Flying high
Syracuse 75, Lehigh 60

Syracuse didn’t look great in its two exhibition games, trailing at halftime of the first game against Indiana PA and getting outscored in the second half against Southern New Hampshire. But with a young team that can get rid of some of its problems early, it’s a good thing the Orange open their season with three games that should result in double-digit victories. First up is Lehigh, a Patriot League team that finished 13-19 last season and hasn’t had a winning season since 2018-19.

The Mountain Hawks have just one player listed above 6-foot-8, which should allow for Jesse Edwards and Benny Williams to get some easy baskets inside. If SU can contain Lehigh’s offense — which ranked in the bottom third nationally last season — it should get some good transition opportunities to put this one away early. Syracuse has only lost its season-opener twice in the last 20 years, the last time coming in 2019 against Virginia. Anything less than a convincing win in this game would be a disappointment.

Anthony Alandt (0-0)
Solid start
Syracuse 68, Lehigh 59

Which team that Southerland played on was the best? One was ‘really crazy’ (podcast) (PS; podcast; Waters)

James Southerland’s career at Syracuse spanned some of the school’s best years.

He played on teams that were ranked No. 1 in the country and earned No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament in both 2010 and 2012. As a senior, he helped the Orange to the 2013 Final Four.

So which was the best team that he played on? In an appearance on the Inside Syracuse Basketball podcast, Southerland struggled with the question before finally saying, “2012 was really crazy.’'

Southerland said Syracuse’s reserves on the 2012 team could have been a Top 25 team.

Other topics in Southerland’s conversation included his nine 3-pointers in a game at Arkansas, his legendary coach at Cardozo High School and how he first started to like Syracuse after watching Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara lead the Orange to the 2003 national title.

“I didn’t know where Syracuse was,’' Southerland said. “Where’s Syracuse? It’s in New York? Oh!’’

‎Locked On Syracuse - Daily Podcast On Syracuse Orange Football & Basketball: Syracuse Football Loses Its Third Straight, But SU Basketball Provides A Blank Slate on Apple Podcasts (; podcast; Locked on Syracuse)

Matt Bonaparte and Owen Valentine are not pleased with Syracuse Football after the team's third straight loss. The inability for SU to get the offense going with backup quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, offensive line struggles and greater offensive concerns give a grim outlook for the rest of the season. Despite the disappointment recently from football, Syracuse Basketball has its season opener tonight against Lehigh.

Syracuse Men’s Basketball has new energy @Syracuse Orange (youtube; podcast; Dome Dawg)

Syracuse Men’s Basketball has new energy

Lehigh Opens Season at Syracuse Monday Night - Lehigh University Athletics (

The Lehigh men's basketball team is ready to hit the floor for the first time on Monday, as the Mountain Hawks travel to Syracuse to face the Orange in the JMA Wireless Dome. Opening tipoff is set for 8 p.m. on ACC Network Extra and Fox Sports Radio 94.7 FM and 1230 AM. Lehigh features a strong mix of returning players, coupled with talented first-years, who look to get the Mountain Hawks back into Patriot League Championship contention, as the Mountain Hawks were selected third in the Patriot League Preseason Poll. Leading the way is senior Evan Taylor, who was named to the Patriot League Preseason All-League Team.

Taylor is the Mountain Hawks' top statistical returner. Last season, Mountain Hawks' leading returning scorer averaged 13.0 points per contest last season, tied for 13th in the Patriot League. On top of Taylor's third team All-League honors, he was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court and Academic All-Patriot League Team.

Also among Lehigh's returnees are seniors Reed Fenton, Jakob Alamudun and Jake Betlow, who have all made significant contributions over the course of their careers. Lehigh also returns sophomore guards Keith Higgins Jr. and Tyler Whitney-Sidney, who were selected to the Patriot League's All-Rookie Team following last season. The 2022-23 Mountain Hawks appear to be very deep, with a large number of players who have played big minutes, and started games, in their collegiate careers.

The Mountain Hawks will be playing Syracuse for the first time since 2015 and the fifth time in program history. Syracuse leads the all-time series with Lehigh, 4-0, The two programs met for the first time in the early 1920s, with the first-ever meeting on Mar. 3, 1923, a 28-16 Syracuse victory.

Last season, Syracuse finished 16-17 and 9-11 in the ACC and earned a victory over Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament. Overall, Syracuse lost their top four leading scorers, including seven seniors and graduate students. Its top returning scorer and leading rebounder is Jesse Edwards, who averaged 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and led the Orange in blocks with 67. Among the biggest losses include Buddy Boeheim, who averaged 19.2 points and top rebounder Cole Swider (who averaged a team-leading 6.8 rebounds). A youthful Syracuse squad welcomes six freshmen to the program that are looking to make an impact.

SU basketball recruit Mike Williams picks LSU over Syracuse, others (PS; Waters)

Syracuse missed out on another recruit in the 2023 recruiting class on Sunday as Mike Williams, a top-100 guard, announced he would attend LSU.

Syracuse had been among the five schools on Williams’ final list along with Clemson, DePaul and Wake Forest.

Williams, a 6-foot-3 guard from Baltimore, Maryland, attends Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, Maryland. He is ranked No. 96 in the ‘23 class by

Williams had taken an official visit to Syracuse on Sept. 16. It was the third of his five campus visits this fall.

Williams’ decision leaves Syracuse without a commitment in the ‘23 class.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recently addressed the inability to get a commitment from a player in the ‘23 class, noting the Orange’s six-player ‘22 recruiting class and saying he and his staff knew it would be difficult to recruit in the ‘23 cycle as a result.

In addition to the six freshmen, Syracuse also brought in Mounir Hima, a 6-11 sophomore transfer from Duquesne.

With an eye toward the future, Syracuse has hosted three players from the 2024 recruiting class on official visits this fall, including Elijah Moore, of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, Damarius Owens, a 6-7 Rochester native who attends Western Reserve Academy in Ohio, and Jalil Bethea, a 6-4 guard at Archbishop Wood High School in Warmeister, Pennsylvania.

Syracuse Basketball: 4-star Kiyan Anthony, Christ the King vault into top 20 (itlh; Adler)

The 2022-23 season for high schools, prep schools and independent basketball academies is getting underway this month, and one team that we’re keeping a close eye on – due to an intriguing Syracuse basketball connection – is the famed Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, N.Y.

Christ the King, according to high-school hoops analysts and journalists, is expected to be among the best squads around the country in 2022-23.

And one member of the Royals’ roster is 2025 four-star prospect Kiyan Anthony, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who is the son of former Orange legend Carmelo Anthony.

In a new set of early top-25 national rankings for the 2022-23 stanza from high-school basketball analyst and scout Samad Hines, he has Christ the King checking in at No. 20 overall. The Royals, by the way, went 15-11 a stanza ago, per Hines.

Four-star SG Kiyan Anthony, who holds Syracuse basketball interest, competes for a legendary high-school program.

Another key member of the Christ the King roster in 2022-23 is 2024 four-star wing Dwayne Pierce.

This 6-foot-5 shooting guard/small forward, a top-100 player in the junior class, has apparently received interest from the Orange coaching staff at one time or another, per some media reports.

Speaking of ‘Cuse interest, Kiyan Anthony recently told 247Sports that he is garnering interest from Syracuse basketball coaches, and I certainly could see the Orange ultimately offering him.

2022-23 ACC Basketball Preview: Syracuse Orange (SI; Odjakjian)

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim (47th season)

2021 Year in Review

Record: 16-17 (9-11)
ACC Finish: 9th place
KenPom Ranking: 69 (15 offense, 207 defense)
ACC Tournament: 96-57 W vs Florida State, 88-79 L vs Duke

It was a rough year for legendary coach Jim Boeheim. He finished with a losing record for the first time in his career. Kadary Richmond and Quincy Guerrier were two talented players who surprisingly transferred in the offseason, which put a lot of pressure on his kids to score the ball at a high level. When I say his kids, I don’t just mean his players, I mean specifically Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim.

Anchored by his sons, the Orange boasted a dangerous offense that placed 15th in KenPom. So why did Syracuse finish with a losing record? The 2-3 defense was pretty horrendous, finishing outside the top 200 in KenPom. From 2010-2016 (and in 2018), Syracuse was inside the top 20 in defensive efficiency. It’s the key to his teams, and last year he didn’t have the length, athleticism or physicality to make the zone a defense that teams were scared of. Losing starting big man Jesse Edwards to injury at the beginning of February was a brutal blow. Making things worse, it happened when Syracuse was on a four-game win streak.

The Orange closed out the season with four-straight losses, none stinging more than a 10-point blown lead with just over two minutes remaining at home to Miami.

Nobody likes to play Syracuse in March, and that rang true once again in the ACC Tournament. The Orange eviscerated Florida State in the opener 96-57, but the win was tainted by Buddy Boeheim getting suspended for throwing a “punch” at FSU’s Wyatt Wilkes. The ACC suspended him for the next game, which was against Duke. Syracuse gave the Blue Devils a real scare, but without Buddy they weren’t able to pull out a win.

2022 Outlook:

Who’s Out: Buddy Boeheim, Jimmy Boeheim, Cole Swider, Bourama Sidibe and Frank Anselem (Georgia)

Who’s In: Judah Mintz, Justin Taylor, Chris Bunch, Qadir Copeland, Mounir Hima (Duquesne), Maliq Brown and Peter Carey

Projected Starting Lineup:

Sr. G Joe Girard III (6-1, 190)
Fr. G Judah Mintz (6-3,172)
Fr. F Chris Bell (6-7, 180)
So. F Benny Williams (6-9, 208)
Sr. C Jesse Edwards (6-11, 230)

Off the Bench:

Fr. G Justin Taylor (6-6, 205)
Fr. G Quadir Copeland (6-6, 203)
Sr. G Symir Torrence (6-3, 195)
Fr. F Maliq Brown (6-8, 213)
So. C Mounir Hima (6-11, 230)
Fr. C Peter Carey (6-11. 200)

ACC basketball season tips off on Monday; Wake Forest will play host to Fairfield at Joel Coliseum (; Dell)

The Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the most historic basketball conferences in the country, will tip off on Monday with season No. 70.

If the preseason polls are any indication North Carolina and Duke could be right back in the Final Four again at the end of this season. The two programs played in the semifinals last year in what was Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game on the Duke bench.
The Tar Heels lost in the championship game to Kansas but return four starters as Coach Hubert Davis has experience galore.

For the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Coach Steve Forbes will replace four starters from a 25-win season in what was his breakthrough year.

Forbes and the Demon Deacons will debut on Monday night at 8 p.m. against Fairfield at Joel Coliseum.

The Demon Deacons tuned up for their opener tonight by beating Division II Winston-Salem State 82-69 last week at Joel Coliseum in an exhibition game.

"We’ve got to learn from it and move on and get ready to play on Monday, which will be a tough game,” Forbes said after the exhibition game. “Fairfield’s got a good team and really good coach, good program. They played Rutgers tough the other night and we got a lot to work on before we get ready to play on Monday.”

Also in action on Monday night will be Kevin Keatts’ N.C. State team which will play Austin Peay at home at 8 p.m.

Of the 15 ACC teams 13 will be in action on Monday. Louisville plays on Wednesday and Notre Dame will play host to Radford on Thursday.
Three ACC teams were ranked nationally in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. North Carolina is the Associated Press’ Preseason No. 1 team for a record 10th time and the first time since the 2015-16 season. Duke was ranked 7th and Virginia was ranked 18th.

2022-23 ACC Basketball Preview: NC State Wolfpack (SI; Odjakjian)

Head Coach: Kevin Keatts (6th season)

2021 in Review

Record: 11-21 (4-16)
ACC Finish: 15th place
KenPom Ranking: 128 (59 Offense, 246 Defense)
ACC Tournament: 70-64 L vs Clemson

Kevin Keatts was supposed to have a decent team last year, but the outlook changed when defensive anchor Manny Bates suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the first minute of the first game. A brutal start to a very disappointing season.

Keatts did get his guys to rebound from the Bates injury during non-conference play. The Wolfpack were 7-2 heading into a matchup with No. 2 Purdue, and State was up 12 with six minutes remaining. The Boilermakers launched a furious comeback and ended up winning by 10 in overtime. From that point on, everything went downhill.

The Wolfpack did not win back to back games the rest of the season, and had three separate five-game losing streaks. They only won one home ACC game, and only won one game after Jan. 22. It was tough sledding all year for NC State, the one highlight being the emergence of two star players.

Sophomore Dereon Seabron broke out to average 17.3 points per game and was signed by the New Orleans Pelicans after going undrafted. Freshman Terquavion Smith was barely ranked inside the top 100, but he put his talent on display all season long.

2022 Outlook:

Who’s Out: Dereon Seabron, Jericole Hellems, Manny Bates and Jaylon Gibson

Who’s In: D.J. Burns (Winthrop), Jack Clark (La Salle), Jarkel Joiner (Ole Miss) and Dusan Mahorcic (Utah)

Projected Starting Lineup:

So. G Terquavian Smith (6-4, 165 lbs)
Gr. G Jarkel Joiner (6-1, 180)
Sr. G Casey Morsell (6-3, 200)
Gr. G Jack Clark (6-8, 200)
Gr. F D.J. Burns (6-9, 275)

Off the Bench:

Jr. F Ebenezer Dowuona (6-11, 225)
So. G Breon Pass (6-0, 175)
Gr. F Dusan Mahorcic (6-10, 235)
Jr. F Greg Gantt (6-8, 210)
So. F Ernest Ross (6-9, 195)
Fr. G LJ Thomas (6-2, 205)

2022-23 ACC Basketball Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (SI; Odjakjian)

Head Coach: Mike Brey (23rd season)

2021 in Review

Record: 24-11 (15-5)
ACC Finish: 2nd place
KenPom Ranking: 38 (28 Offense, 69 Defense)
ACC Tournament: 87-80 L vs Virginia Tech
NCAA Tournament: 89-87 W vs Rutgers, 78-64 W vs Alabama, 59-53 L vs Texas Tech

Mike Brey’s group was 3-4 heading into a home matchup against No. 10 Kentucky. Notre Dame won 66-62, a victory that would end up helping the Fighting Irish squeeze into the NCAA Tournament field in the First Four.

The Fighting Irish came in 2nd in the ACC with a 15-5 record. They did luck out with an easy conference schedule - they didn’t have to play at Duke or at North Carolina, and they only played Miami and Wake Forest once. From Dec. 20-Feb. 16, the Irish played elite basketball, winning 15 of 17 contests.

They ran into a desperate and red-hot Virginia Tech team in the ACC Tournament and lost 87-80. In March Madness, Notre Dame battled their way to a gutsy 89-87 double overtime win over Rutgers to join the field of 64. They kept rolling with a 78-84 win over Alabama before letting one slip away against Texas Tech in a chance to reach the Sweet 16. Blake Wesley, the star freshman who the San Antonio Spurs took with the 25th pick in the NBA Draft, was outstanding all season, but he turned the ball over three possessions in a row at the end of that game.

Notre Dame was a great offensive team last year — they shot 39.6% from downtown which led the ACC and was top 15 in the country. Wesley blossoming into a star and leading the team in scoring as a freshman ranked outside the top 120 was a pretty incredible story. The transfer portal addition of Paul Atkinson from Yale was a perfect fit. Brey had the roster to get back into the NCAA Tournament and make some noise, and that’s exactly what they did.

Projected Starting Lineup

Fr. G JJ Starling (6-4, 200 lbs)
Gr. G Marcus Hammond (6-4, 188)
Gr. G Cormac Ryan (6-5, 195)
Gr. G Dane Goodwin (6-6, 214)
Gr. F Nate Laszewski (6-10, 230)

Off the Bench

Gr. G Trey Wertz (6-5, 193)
Fr. F Ven-Allen Lubin (6-8, 226)
Fr. F Dom Campbell (6-9, 268)
Jr. F Matt Zona (6-9, 242)
Jr. G Tony Sanders Jr. (6-7, 215)
So. G J.R. Konieczny (6-7, 202)
Gr. G Robby Carmondy (6-4, 205)

2022-23 ACC Basketball Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies (SI; Odjakjian)

Head Coach: Mike Young (4th season)

2021 in Review

Record: 23-13 (11-9)
ACC Finish: 7th place
KenPom Ranking: 19 (17 Offense, 54 Defense)
ACC Tournament: 76-75 (OT) W vs Clemson, 87-80 W vs Notre Dame, 72-59 W vs North Carolina, 82-67 W vs Duke

NCAA Tournament: 81-73 L vs Texas

Virginia Tech brought basically everyone back last season from a team that earned a No. 7 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The Hokies were supposed to be really good — and they failed to deliver for most of the season. No matter how many games they lost, though, they were still considered a good team, and the computer rankings continued to love them.

The Hokies missed opportunities for quality non-conference wins against Memphis, Xavier, and Dayton, and opened up ACC play with four straight losses (vs Wake Forest, at Duke, vs NC State, at Virginia). The Hokies bounced back and won two games before dropping their next three. A six-game win streak from Jan. 29-Feb. 14 (which included two wins in three days over Pittsburgh) got coach Mike Young’s crew back on track. A road win over Miami on Feb. 26 was their best win in ACC play.

Entering the ACC tournament, Virginia Tech was debatably still on the bubble, but barely. Down two in with seven seconds left in overtime and Clemson’s PJ Hall at the free throw line, the Hokies looked NIT bound. But Hall missed, and Darius Maddox took the ball all the way up the floor, and drilled a three pointer at the buzzer.

After that shot, Virginia Tech took down Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Duke on their way to an ACC Tournament title and an automatic March Madness bid. The Hokies outclassed each of those teams — their average winning margin was 11.7 points from the quarterfinals onward. They were playing beautiful basketball offensively and tightened up on the defensive end.

The No. 11 seed Hokies were given a brutal draw in the NCAA Tournament, matching up against a very sound defensive team in the Texas Longhorns in the first round. Texas connected on 53% of their three pointers and went on to win.

It was a Jekyll and Hyde season for the Hokies. The 2-7 start in ACC play was a massive failure. But Young kept his team together and delivered his program their first-ever ACC Tournament title.

2022-23 ACC Basketball Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers (SI; Odjakjian)

Head Coach: Jeff Capel (5th season)

2021 in Review

Record: 11-21 (6-14)
ACC Finish: 12th place
KenPom Ranking: 195 (243 Offense, 147 Defense)
ACC Tournament: 66-46 L vs Boston College

Jeff Capel has not finished better than 11th in his four years at the helm for Pitt. So last season’s lack of success was nothing new.

The Panthers’ 2021 season got off to a brutal start with a 15-point home loss to The Citadel (KenPom 241). Other home non-conference losses were to UMBC (KP 240) and Monmouth (KP 158). Mixed in with those bad losses were some quality wins, over St. John’s and NCAA Tournament-bound Colgate.

Pitt had the looks of one of the worst teams in the ACC entering conference play, but they ended up being a difficult out for stretches of the season. They lost their first three ACC games against Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville by a combined five points. The highlight of the season was a three-game win streak in early February that featured a 76-67 road win over National Runner-Up North Carolina.

Capel failed to capitalize off of that momentum, and the rest of the season was an absolute mess. They followed up the UNC win with a home loss to Georgia Tech and ended the season with four straight 20+ point losses.

2022 Outlook:

Who’s Out: Femi Odukale (Seton Hall), Ithiel Horton (UCF), Mouhamadou Gueye

Who’s In: Nelly Cummings (Colgate), Greg Elliott (Marquette), Blake Hinson (Iowa State) Fede Federiko (JUCO) Jorge Diaz Graham, Guillermo Diaz Graham

Projected Starting Lineup:

Gr. G Jamarius Burton (6-4, 200)
Gr. G Nelly Cummings (6-0, 185)
Sr. G Nike Sibande (6-4, 185)
Jr. F Blake Hinson (6-7, 235)
Jr. F John Hugley IV (6-9, 265)

Off the Bench:

Jr. F William Jeffress (6-7, 205 lbs)
Gr. G Greg Elliott (6-3, 180)
So. F Nate Santos (6-7, 210)
Fr. F Guillermo Diaz Graham (7-0, 205)
Fr. F Jorge Diaz Graham (6-11, 190)
So. C Fede Federiko (6-11, 220)
Fr. G Dior Johnson (6-3, 180)*

Pitt loses a few key rotation players in Femi Odukale (10.8 PPG, 3.4 AST), Ithiel Horton (9.8 PPG), and Mouhamadou Gueye (9.8 PPG, 2.1 BLK). Odukale was the team’s primary ball handler, Horton averaged 20.3 PPG over the Panthers’ three-game win streak in February and Gueye made more three pointers than anyone else on the team. These guys were big contributors but this year’s roster is more talented, and the pieces will fit together a lot better.


Margaritas Mexican Cantina Makes New Moves | Juice and Java

Margaritas Mexican Cantina Makes New Moves | Juice and Java | CitrusTV (; video)

Armory Square’s Margaritas Mexican Cantina is making new moves. Juice and Java reporter Ilana Epstein has the story.

Syracuse hits 80 degrees in November - third time on record (PS; Kirk)

While it may be fall, Syracuse hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday - the third time on record of the city being 80 degrees in November.

At 12:54 Sunday the temperature went up to 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. This is only the third time on record that the temperature reached 80 in Syracuse in November, according to the National Weather Service. Record keeping started in 1902 according to the National Weather Service

The record high for Saturday was also broken when temperatures reached 76, beating the previous record of 73 degrees, set in 2015.

However, sweaters might be needed for the rest of the week. On Thursday the high will be 69 degrees but for the rest of the week highs will hover in the low 60s and high 50s according to the weather service.

Lows will feel more like fall with Monday night dipping to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the weather service said.

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