Beat writers predict men’s basketball season record, MVP and X-Factor

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 9, 2017 at 9:22 pm Syracuse missed out on the NCAA Tournament a season ago after a slow start to the season hindered the Orange’s tournament resume. As a No. 1 seed in the NIT, Syracuse lost at home in the second round to Mississippi. Since then, Andrew White and John Gillon graduate, Tyler Lydon left for the NBA draft and Taurean Thompson transferred to Seton Hall. This season, SU will look to Tyus Battle and several unproven players to try and get back to the NCAA Tournament. Our beat writers predict Syracuse’s record, Most Valuable Player and X-Factor.Sam FortierThem’s the breaksRecord: 17-14MVP: Tyus BattleX-factor: Frank HowardSyracuse’s nonconference schedule mixes in a few real challenges with plenty of winnable games, and the Orange will need that combination to try and answer the many question marks on its roster. Will Frank Howard develop into a reliable presence at the point? Will Tyus Battle effectively score and distribute as the team’s alpha? Will the team find a balance on the floor with its projected guard-heavy lineups? Once Syracuse gets into conference play, other teams will exploit areas the Orange hasn’t shored up, so starting will be crucial because, surveying the schedule, it’s difficult to peg the Orange as an above-.500 team in the ACC. November and December play will tell us a lot about this team, and those games may up playing a heavy factor for Syracuse’s hopes come March.Matthew GutierrezDéjà vuAdvertisementThis is placeholder textRecord: 16-15MVP: Tyus BattleX-Factor: FrontcourtThanks to an easy nonconference schedule, Syracuse jets out to a strong 11-2 start. But don’t be fooled, because the parity of the ACC could give an undersized SU team fits. Tyus Battle and strong guard play will lead the Orange past the teams it is supposed to beat, but rebounding and second-chance points will keep SU from hanging with the top half of ACC teams. This season will end similar to last, given the Orange must replenish the bulk of its offensive production and somehow compensate for lack of developed skill and depth in the paint. Give Syracuse another year to make an NCAA Tournament run.Tomer LangerSame differenceRecord: 18-13MVP: Tyus BattleX-factor: Oshae BrissettSyracuse is going to look and play a lot differently than it did last year. A year ago, Syracuse started off slowly before rolling out a lethal offensive lineup highlighted by four above average shooters and a talented young post presence in Taurean Thompson. That team struggled on defense, though, ending up as the first team out of the NCAA Tournament. This year’s team only has one of those five starters back in Battle and he should be the team’s leader on offense this season. The other options to fill in don’t seem as polished on that end, but head coach Jim Boeheim thinks his team will be stronger on defense. While the team’s strengths might be the same, the end result — a team that competes but ends up clearly in a lower tier than the powerhouses in the ACC — will be the same. Commentslast_img

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