My 2022-3 SU Basketball Preview - The Conference teams we play twice | Syracusefan.com

My 2022-3 SU Basketball Preview - The Conference teams we play twice

SWC75

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The ACC games:

Lindy’s doesn’t offer much hope improvement or even relevance for SU. They see North Carolina, who is “locked and loaded”, Duke who “rinsed and repeated” in bringing in the #1, #4, #8, #14, #40 and #66 recruits on their top 100 list, (which has Judah Mintz, our top recruit, at #79), Virginia, which has all five starters returning, and U of Miami, which “has all the tools to crash the party” as the class of the conference. “Whether the ACC struggles through another season without much depth past the top three or four squads is up to teams like Florida State, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest…the league’s sleepiest giant Louisville, has a new coach in Kenny Payne, who is hoping his connection to the program’s rich tradition, prepared with his developmental prowess will boost a program….Don’t be surprised if a few teams that have struggled recently climb higher up the chain than expected Boston College and Pittsburgh have intriguing rosters…” Nowhere in this introductory article do they mention Syracuse at all. Their ranking of conference teams has us as #12 in a 15 team conference, ahead only of Boston College, Clemson and Georgia Tech. They acknowledge that Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards “make solid, experienced backcourt-frontcourt duo.” But “The Orange will otherwise rely on a lot of inexperienced or new pieces to fill some big shoes”. They predict “A ninth consecutive double-digit loss season but some solid young players to grow on”.

Teams we will play twice:

BOSTON COLLEGE went 13-20, (and 6-14 in the conference), last year and haven’t had a winning season since 2017-18 and only one since 2010-11 but they split their last 8 games with wins over Florida State, NC State, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest under new Coach Earl Grant.


No, not that Earl Grant. This one came here after a good run at College of Charleston and has his top three scorers back: 6-5 210 Demarr Langford (11.3p, 4.8r), who is “strong off the dribble and defends well”. 6-3 185 Makai Ashton-Langford (12.0p 3.9r, 3.4a), who “distributes and defends well but must get more efficient shooting the ball, (29% from three). 6-2 210 Jaeden Zachery (10.4p 3.2a), “was a three-point weapon last season, the only one for BC”. He “has the potential to be a bigger producer and should be one of the ACC’s top perimeter defenders”. 6-9 220 T. J. Bickerstaff (6.6p, 7.2r) “was the Eagles’ leading rebounder but must become a more reliable shooter”. 7-0 240 Quinten Post (9.2p, 5.4r 1.0b), “provides rim protection and rebounding”. There are two good freshmen recruits: 6-6 215 Prince Aligbe, “a strong athletes, excellent finisher, good driver and soldi defender”. 6-5 185 Chas Kelley “plays tough defense and scores off the dribble. That’s a lot of guys noted for their defense, which could make the Eagles a feisty opponent.

GEORGIA TECH was 12-20 last year, 5-15 in the conference. They have two starters back from that team and are looking to the transfer portal to give them a leg up. The fact that they landed guys from Gardner-Webb and South Alabama is not promising. But 6-2 180 Lance Terry from GW averaged 15.2p against six power conference opponents in his tenure there. And 6-7 200 Ja’von Franklin of South Alabama scored 51 points in games against Alabama, Southern Mississippi and Wichita State. So maybe they can help. The returning starters are 6-2 197 Kyle Sturdivant (7.6p, 2.5r, 2.3a), who is “ready to take over the reigns of the team” and 6-10 246 Rodney Howard (6.5p, 5.1r), who with 6-8 225 Jordan Meka (0.8p but 2.9r), “are big bodies who can defend and rebound but they need help in balancing scoring on a guard-heavy squad. 6-1 172 Devion Smith (5.7p, 3.4r) “is healthy again and provides serious quickness”. 6-6 219 Dalian Coleman (6.2p), 6-5 171 Miles Kelly (5.7p) and 6-2 200 Tristan Maxwell (6.4p) “are all effective outside shooters”.

NOTRE DAME was 24-11 last year but 15-5 in the conference after being 9-6 outside out of it. They get three starters back from that team and picked up 6-4 195 JJ Starling, (formerly of Baldwinsville High School), their “highest recruit in a decade”. JJ is ”excellent in transition, can get into the paint and makes good decisions”. Lindy’s has him as the #20 incoming recruit in the country, (compared to our gem, Judah Mintz, who is #79). The returnees are 6-6 208 Dane Goodwin (13.6p, 4.7r), a “sniper”, 6-5 194 Cormac Ryan (9.2p 4.8t), a “lights out shooter” and Nate Laszewski 6-10 235 (9.3p, 6.5r), who can “score all over and hit the boards. Another “lights out shooter” Is 6-5 192 Trey Wertz (4.0p), is a “fine marksman and good distributor”. They also brought in Ven-Allen Lubin 6-8 220, “an athletic three-man can get to the basket and finish well, 6-9 265 Dom Campbell, a “low post scorer that makes good decisions and hits the boards” and Niagara transfer 6-3 173 Marcus Hammond (18.1p,4.7r, 2.9a), “who can score and finish”.
The Irish love to shoot and they do it well, especially against our zone.

PITTSBURGH was 11-21 and 6-14 but they beat us 53-64 on January 25th. Coach Jeff Capel has three starters back but lost five players to the transfer portal. But Capel brought in our old friend Dior Johnson, (remember him?- we were his ‘dream school’), and several transfers of his own. College basketball circa 2022. The 6-3 185 Johnson, “a tough wing who can make plays for others and himself…he’s ready to step into the starting line-up”. He’ll join 6-4 200 Jamarius Burton (12.4p, 3.5r), “a reliable scorer and distributor who needs to shoot more accurately”. As if Johnson weren’t enough of a blast from the past for us, Colgate’s Nelly Cummings, (6-0 190, 14.7p, 3.0r, 3.4a), will also join their backcourt. Out of the junior colleges comes 6-4 190 Cashius McNeilly, “who can hit the long ball”. They got a former teammate of Symir Torrance’s from Marquette, 6-3 180 Greg Elliott (7.0p), who “has a good shooting eye. Their key player is big John Hugley, 6-9 265, (14.8p, 7.9r), who pushed our skinny bigs around last year. 6-11 220 Frede Federiko is another JUCO. And 6-7 255 Blake Hinson, (10.1p, 4.6r), came in from Mississippi.

VIRGINIA was a modest, for them, 21-14 and 10-8 in the conference last year but all five of Tony Bennett’s starters are back. Lindy’s: “Last year’s squad played its usual tight defense but it wasn’t great at that end. It took care of the basketball but didn’t score that well or efficiently. It played a tight, seven man rotation that sometimes wore down. And it set itself up for some big things this season, since the team’s six top scorers return and a strong class of newcomers provides needed depth.” [I thought JB was the only coach in the country who played a 7 man rotation?] The one of their six top scorers who did return averaged 3.3p, so that’s not a big loss.

5-10 165 Kihei Clark (10.0p, 4.4a) is back at the point. Our guards will tower over him but he may dribble past them. 6-4 195 Armaan Franklin (11.1p), “can score but must get more accurate from the outside”. 6-5 205 Taine Murray “showed he has the potential to score at all three level”, (2.0p – they said ‘potential). 6-4 180 freshman Isaac McNeeley “is a straight line driver who is strong with the ball and also can shoot”. Their top returning scorer is 6-6 233 Jayden Gardner (11.1p, 2.8r). 6-11 231 Kadin Shedrick, (6.9p, 5.1r) “is a reliable interior finisher and rebounder who provides great rim protection and shot blocking”. 7-1 255 Francisco Caffaro (4.3p 4.6r), “is a solid interior piece”. 6-8 235 Ben Vander Plas transferred in from Ohio U. (14.3p, 6.8r, 3.1a) where he “showed he can score from all over and hit the boards”.6-10 230 Freshman Isaac Traudt is a versatile forward who can shoot. They’ve got a lot of size and have added firepower. And they can play a little defense, too.

VIRGINIA TECH was 23-13 and 11-9 in conference. What that doesn’t show is that they improbably won the ACC tournament, beating both North Carolina and Duke. They return two starters and have brought in four freshmen and three transfers to try to sustain success. 6-7 232 Justin Mutts (7.2p, 4.2r) made Coach Mike Young happy when he announced he’d be returning for his junior year. “This has been a good day”. “He’s a fine passer, good defender and excellent finisher, especially on alley-oops”. 6-3 200 Hunter Cattoor (10.0p 4.0r), is a strong shooter who can set up teammates and plays solid defense” but needs to “become more versatile with his offensive game”. 6-5 195 Darius Maddux (6.4p) “can score inside and out”. 6-8 215 Memphis transfer John Camden only played briefly for them but he was a four star recruit out of high school. He has “good skills and a sure shot”. 6-4 195 freshman Rodney Rice “is a playmaker with a strong shot” while 6-4 190 fellow freshman MJ Collins “attacks the hoop, has excellent jumping skills and can score at all three levels”. 6-9 235 Grant Basile (18.4p 8.5r) came in from Wright State to replace Keve Aluma. 6-0 235 Mylyjael [My Ligal?] Poteat (7.7p, 4.2r) came in from Rice and “brings power close to the hoop”. And here comes 7-0 255 freshman Patrick Wessler, “a rim protector who can score in the post” and 6-7 235 freshman Darren Buchanan, “an athletic player who hits the boards well”.

Comment: We don’t play Duke or North Carolina twice and the teams we do play twice were 53-65 in the conference last year.
 

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