My 2023-2024 SU Basketball Preview Part 6 | Syracusefan.com

My 2023-2024 SU Basketball Preview Part 6

SWC75

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(The November Games)

THE SCHEDULE

ACCNX means it will be streamed on the ESPN site or app.
ACCN is the ACC Network (channel 388 on Spectrum in Syracuse)
ESPN is the primary ESPN network (channel 24 on Spectrum in Syracuse)
ESPN2 is the secondary ESPN network (channel 25 in Spectrum in Syracuse)
FOX is channel 8 on Spectrum in Syracuse
The CW is channel 6 on Spectrum in Syracuse
the ESPN family just means that it will be on one of the channels owned by ESPN. Which one is TBA (To be announced)

The quotes below are from Lindy’s College Basketball preview.


Exhibitions
Friday 10/27/23 7PM in the Dome Daemen
Wednesday 11/1/23 7PM in the Dome St. Rose
These are against Division 2 teams and are expected to be victories, even though they won’t be part of our official won-lost record. We have lost one of these exhibition games in history: to Lemoyne in 2009 - and went on to go 30-5 that year. Daemen was a credible 20-8 last year but they lost exhibitions to Penn by 33 and Buffalo by 29. They have a couple of double figure scorers back but no one over 6-7. Their 6-7 guy is Payton Shumpert, son of SU’s Preston. His 6-4 brother Preston is also on the team. St. Rose was 9-20. They lost an exhibition game last year by 7 points – to Albany. They had 6 double figure scores and five are back, (again, none over 6-7) but got outscored by 7 a game anyway.


Regular Season Games
Monday 11/6/23 7PM in the Dome New Hampshire ACCNX
The Huskies have a very good player in 6-6 225 Clarence Daniels, who averaged 15.3 points/10.7 rebounds per game. No other returning player was close to double figures. 6-10 230 Ridivan Tutic averaged 3.9/4.9. They were 15-15 last year.

Wednesday 11/8/23 7PM in the Dome Canisius ACCNX
The Golden Griffins were just 10-20 last year but have a good perimeter game. 6-0 165 Tahj Staveskie, (12.4p/3.1r) “can impact the game as an outside shooter, rebounder and playmaker…Stem Uijtendaal and Tre Dinkins are both effective three point shooters.” (Lindy’s) Uijtendaal set a school record with 10 treys in one game.

Tuesday 11/14/23 7PM in the Dome Colgate ACCN
The Raiders are every bit as good as when they spanked us the last two years and they could do it again. Last season they went 26-9 and 17-1 in the Patriot League 6-10 250 Keegan Records (13.0p/6.0r), 6-7 220 Ryan Moffat (10.6, 45% shooter from three) and 6-0 180 Braeden Smith (11.6p/4.4a) are all back and they are still coached by Matt Langel, one of the outstanding coaches in America. This will be an excellent litmus test to see if we are improved or just different this year.

The Maui Invitational
Monday 11/20/23 9:30PM in Oahu Tennessee ESPN2
Tuesday 11/21/23 2:30PM(l) or 8PM(w) in Oahu Purdue or Gonzaga ESPN2 (l) ESPN (w)
Wednesday 11/22/23 TBA in Oahu Chaminade, Kansas, Marquette or UCLA ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU

The Maui Field, (there’s a loser’s bracket so we could play anybody):

Tennessee: The Vols were 25-11 and 13-7 in the SEC last year and made the Sweet 16, so they will be a tough opening opponent. Syracuse has had trouble with teams that had muscular bruisers and Lindy’s describes Tennessee as “a team full of muscular bruisers”. Jonas Aidoo is 6-11 241 and had “the nation’s 23rd best block rate last season”. 6-11 233 JP Estrella “should also deliver paint defense and rebounding. 6-8 250 Tobe Awaka “flashed scoring potential in the middle”. 6-8 224 Josiah-Jordan James, (10.7p/4.7r) is “a good passer, defender and rebounder…Tennessee’s Frontcourt possesses the requisite height and girth to make paint scoring difficult”.

Their backcourt is “one of the best in the SEC, if not the nation”. Santiago Vescovi, (6-3 192, 12.5p/4.6r) is “an impactful, efficient player…fluid and refined...He rarely makes a questionable shot or an ill-advised pass”. He also shoots 37% from three. Zakai Ziegler (5-9 171, 10.7p/5.4a) “is the lightning-quick fearless guard who sets the table…and his quick hands create steals deflections”. My recollection is that we have not usually had trouble with short guards – but that’s when we were playing zone all the time. Big guards could post him up. Coach Rick Barnes wanted to upgrade his perimeter game and brought in Jordan Gainey, (6-3 176, 14.6p 34.5%) from South Carolina-Upstate, Dalton Knecht, (6-6 204, 20.2p 38.1%) from Northern Colorado and Freddie Delone V (6-5 180), a top 25 HS recruit to do it.

Purdue: The Boilermakers were ranked #1 for much of last season and finished 29-6 and 15-5 in the Big Ten. This was primarily because of one man: 7-4 300 Zach Edey, the national player of the year. He averaged 22.3p/12.9r. Coach Matt Painter said “I just see him getting better at everything”, which is scary. The big question is: would he foul out all four of inexperienced centers? Purdue was somewhat exposed late in the season as a team that was mostly Edey and not enough of the other players. They had only one other double-figure scorer, guard Fletcher Loyer, (6-4 180, 11.0p/2.4a 32.6% from three), although guard Braden Smith, (6-0 175) averaged 9.7p/4.4a. Smith is “the quintessential point guard”, an “efficient, tough-as-nails lead guard”. Both guards were freshmen last year and should improve this year. 6-6 228 Mason Gillis “stretches defenses with his three point shooting” (35.6%).

Gonzaga: The Zags have risen from a little-known mid-major to a perennial national power under Boeheim buddy Mark Few. Playing in a lesser conference, he’s been able to 89 of 824 games, (83.6%), including 8 thirty-win seasons, (he’s never won less than 25). They’ve twice played for the national championship. Last year they were 31-6. They lost their best player, (Drew Timme) and their second best player (Julian Strawther). Lindy’s: “Of course there’s life after Drew Timme. It just may not be as fun.” They say “there’s more of a starting-over feel than there has been in recent years.” Few has brought in 6-9 255 Graham Ike, who, for Wyoming, was the Mountain West’s freshman of the year two years ago with 19.5p/9.6r but sat out last year with an injury. The one returning double-figure scorer is 6-8 225 Anton Watson (11.1p/6.2r). 6-10 225 Ben Gregg “has a three point shot that changes the game, (5.1p, 37.7%).
Ryan Nembhard (6-0 175, 12.1p 4.8a), “immediately restores credibility and playmaking to the backcourt”. I don’t know about the credibility, but the playmaking will be welcome.

Chaminade, a Division 2 team, famously beat #1 Virginia and Ralph Sampson in 1982, which led to the formation of this tournament and they are the host. They have been a good host, going 8-92 in the tournament. They were 14-15 last year and played in three exhibition games, losing to Ohio State by 44, Louisville by 7, (a harbinger of things to come for the Cardinals) and by 33 to Cincinnati. For some reason, they weren’t in last year’s Maui Invitational. They have three double figure scorers returning but no one over 6-7.

Kansas has been the most consistently successful college basketball program since the mid-1980’s. Even Duke can’t match their record of sixteen 30 win seasons and 27 major conference championships in that time. Bill Self has a 580-132 (81.5%) there with four Final Fours and two national championships. Last year they were 28-8 and 13-5 in the Big 12. Lindy’s has them as their preseason #1 team: “three returning starters, the top transfer on the market, a McDonald’s All-American and three other valuable pieces in the portal”. Sounds pretty good to me!

DaJuan Harris Jr., (6-2 170, 8.9p/6.2a) their returning point guard, is “an All-American candidate”. Self: “Juan is the best passing point guard around, period.” Kevin McCullar (6-7 212, 10.7p/7.0r) decided to postpone the NBA to play on this team. Elmarko Jackson (6-3 195) is the Mickey Dee. Arterio Morris (6-4 195, 4.6p) came in from Big 12 rival Texas. They are “quicker, playmaking guards”. The guy they are quicker than is Nick Timberlake (6-4 200) who shot 41.6% from three at Towson, scoring 17.7p, before deciding to spend his Covid year at Kansas. (There might be a difference.)

The top transfer is Michigan’s 7-2 260 Hunter Dickinson from Michigan (18.5p/9.0r), who won’t be intimidated if they play Purdue. He’s a ”walking double-double”. 6-7 235 KJ Adams Jr. (10.6p/4.3r) can play the four or the five.

Marquette won the Big East last year with a 17-3 conference record and 29-7 overall. That’s significant because the dominant national champion, Connecticut, was in the Big East. The Golden Eagles won 2 of 3 from the eventual champs, 82-76, 72-87 and 70-68 in the conference tournament. Eight of their top nine scorers are back. 6-3 180 Tyler Kolek was the BE player of the year (12.9p/7.5a – hey, Bill Self, get a load of that!) Their top scorer was 6-5 200 Kam Jones (15.1p/3.6r). 6-3 195 Steve Mitchell (7.1p) is the team’s best defensive player. 6-8 220 David Joplin (9.2p, 39.9% from three) was the conference 6th man of the year. 6-11 225 Oso Ighodaro (11.4p/5.9r) will man the middle.

Then there’s UCLA, who appears to be ‘back’, having won the Pac12 with an 18-2 record and 31-6 overall last year under Mick Cronin. They may be gone again, at least by the standards of this tournament, losing their top 5 scorers. 6-2 175 Dylan Andrews was a top 50 recruit and the back-up point guard last year. 6-3 200 Will McClendon had also been “a blue-chip recruit” but got injured and got behind people. Freshman Jan Vilde (6-5-195) is “an athletic and skilled guard with a diverse scoring arsenal”. Utah transfer Lazar Stefanovic (6-7 185, 10.2p/2.7r) is “an effective scorer and distributor”. 6-10 245 Adam Bona (7.7p/5.3r) is “an ideal complimentary player for his reliable shooting at the rim, (67.5%), presence on the glass and shot-blocking ability”.

We have been in the Maui Invitational three times, (1990, 1998 and 2013) and won all three times. A four-peat is unlikely. This may be the best field of any in-season tournament ever. We could play well and go 0-3. This is the basketball equivalent of the football team’s gauntlet of Clemson/UNC/FSU, except on consecutive days. (!) At least we’ll have a chance to see some of the top teams in the country close-up. And we might have a shot at UCLA, a school we’ve only played twice in our history. To those of us with long memories, beating the Bruins would be something special.

ACC/SEC challenge (It used to be the ACC/Big Ten Challenge but that went south)
Tuesday 11/28/23 7PM in the Dome Louisiana State ESPN2
We come home to play the Tigers, who went 14-19 last year. That is irrelevant because LSU has had 14 transactions through the portal since last year. This will be a whole new team. Coach Matt McMahon, seeing his team only shot 41% from the field last year, brought in Jalen Cook (6-0 194, 19.9p/4.9a, 34.5%) from Tulane and Jordan Wright (6-6 220, 10.6p/5.1r 31.3% - but he was 43.2% in 562 minutes two years ago) from Vanderbilt. Cook “has strong leadership ability in running the point and plays tough defensively”. Carlos Stewart (6-2 185) came in from Santa Clara (15.2p, 40.3% from the arc). 6-2 215 returnee Trae Hannibal (6.8p/4.5r) “is always in attack mode on both ends of the court”.

Another returnee, 6-5 205 Mwani Wilkinson “has the length to continue to be one of the Tigers’ key defensive players”. Nevada-Reno transfer Will Baker is 7-0 235 (13.6p/5.2r). George Washington transfer
Hunter Dean (6-10 235 8.7p/6.1) “shot 64.7 from the floor and was a major inside presence” 6-9 210 Kentucky transfer Daimion Collins will provide depth.

After this early schedule we'll have a pretty good idea of what we've got - and don't have.
 
Great observation how important Colgate in game 3 is, as the send-off to Maui. We need to deal them some payback. If we don't beat them by at least 10 points, then this team may take a couple months to come together.
 
Surprised you didn’t mention some of the INTL freshman that UCLA added this offseason. Aday Mara is suppose to be a one and done center.
 
This is one h ll of a tough schedule.
 
Retroactive hoops previews seems like a weird concept.
 
Title should read 2023-24 basketball preview. :oops:
 
Great observation how important Colgate in game 3 is, as the send-off to Maui. We need to deal them some payback. If we don't beat them by at least 10 points, then this team may take a couple months to come together.
Colgate is projected to win their conference again so this is no rollover. Coaches like to say they take games one at a time, but you know this one has the proverbial circle around it. This will be a good litmus test.
 
Colgate is projected to win their conference again so this is no rollover. Coaches like to say they take games one at a time, but you know this one has the proverbial circle around it. This will be a good litmus test.

I understand that. That's why I said "beat them by 10" and not by 30. They're a good team who have made the NCAAs 4 of the last 5 years under this coach.
 

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