by Steven Baker and Nick Mannion
The college basketball season has finally began, and that means the Syracuse University begin their quest for a chance for their sixth Final Four, under Hall-of-Famer Head Coach Jim Boeheim. The Orange started their season with a couple major wins against Texas A&M and Connecticut, which were both top 25 teams at the time. They also won the 2015 Battle for Atlantis Tournament in November, but since then, things have been grim.
The Orange are currently 13-7. Jamesville-DeWitt High School students, like junior Mikey Yonta, were buzzing about the North Carolina game, predicting it would be a good game. The Tar Heels came right at Syracuse, attacking the Zone in the paint. Freshman Nina Grigorian summed up the end of the game: “every time we scored it seemed like it was very hard or a difficult shot, but when they came down the court they would score with ease. Their defense just outplayed us in the last few minutes of the game.” Despite the loss, many people enjoyed watching the game, including freshman Anastasia Parks, who said “I love watching the game but was disappointed we lost.”
The Cuse’s 13-7 record this year has been disappointing to all the fans. “They haven’t been playing well, and it’s not fun to watch them lose,” said senior Rebecca Shen. The Orange have seven losses, five of those coming to teams with winning records. “We shouldn’t have lost any of those games, but we’ll come back,” said senior Hannah Schayes. Along with being 0-4 on the road, the Orange are 3-4 in ACC play, “ I’m not surprised at all about their 3-4 in conference play, (because) we can’t score,” said senior Ryan Mandelis. “The ACC is one of the best leagues in the country, all of their (ACC) games are gonna be tough” said Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Jeff Ike
Syracuse’s Coach Boeheim has already served his nine game suspension this year, due to NCAA violations. Assistant Coach Mike Hopkins stepped in for Boeheim, and in his first game against Georgetown, Syracuse lost 79-72. As head coach of the Orange, Hopkins went 4-5, with wins against Montana State, Texas Southern, Cornell, and Colgate. Coach Ike thinks Hopkins did a good job because he knows Coach Boeheim’s “system” and runs it well. However, Hopkins also had losses to Georgetown, St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Clemson, which prompted senior CYO basketball player Patrick Cramer to comment that “Hopkins coaching has been atrocious.”
There have been a lot of talk about if any Syracuse basketball players will be drafted into the NBA. Freshman Nolan Giblin strongly believes that “Trevor Cooney will be drafted number one in the NBA Draft this year and Michael Gbinije will go top 20.” Although, there are some who believe otherwise. “I don’t think anyone from Syracuse will go pro next year,” said sophomore Kenny Santos.
In the rest of this season Syracuse has games against strong teams like Virginia, Louisville, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, and one of Syracuse’s hated rivals, Duke. Many students around the school can’t wait for these games. “I can’t wait until we destroy Duke,” said senior David Benaroch. Sophomore Ryan Evans says that Duke is going to be “stunned” after their game against Syracuse. Other students like freshman Shane Wright believe we will get “clobbered.”