Last season: 18-13, did not play in NCAA Tournament.
Nickname: Orange. Coach: Jim Boeheim.
Conference: Atlantic Coast.
Who’s gone: C Rakeem Christmas, F Chris McCullough, F B.J. Johnson, G Ron Patterson.
Who’s back: G Trevor Cooney averaged 13.4 points and led Syracuse with 71 3-pointers; G Michael Gbinije averaged 12.7 points and was second with 49 3-pointers; G Kaleb Joseph started all but one game at point guard as a freshman but struggled; C Dajuan Coleman missed all of last season with a knee injury. Cooney and Gbinije are fifth-year seniors and looking to end their careers on an upswing. Both were erratic as last season wore down and their minutes didn’t on a very short bench.
Who’s new: G Malachi Richardson, G Frank Howard, and F Tyler Lydon. Syracuse struggled offensively in 2014-15, averaging 67.6 points, and Boeheim’s focus is to change that. He plans to play all three freshmen a lot and will emphasize the perimeter game.
The Skinny: NCAA sanctions levied earlier this year for academic, benefits, and other violations will limit Syracuse to nine scholarship players and the lineup will feature three freshmen and an untested senior center who sat out last season with a knee injury. Barring a change in punishment as the NCAA considers appeals from Boeheim and the school, he is suspended for the first half of the ACC season, a total of nine games. Boeheim, in his 40th season at his alma mater, and his designated successor, assistant Mike Hopkins, will have to work some magic to get the Orange into the NCAA Tournament.
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