- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016


Last season: 23-14, lost in the NCAA Tournament semifinals to North Carolina.

Nickname: Orange.

Coach: Jim Boeheim.

Conference: Atlantic Coast.

Who’s gone: G Michael Gbinije, G Malachi Richardson, G Trevor Cooney.

Who’s back: C Dajuan Coleman. Returned last season after missing the better part of two years with knee problems and played in every game, becoming a steady cog in the middle (4.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 17.5 minutes); F Tyler Roberson. Team’s most accomplished rebounder (8.5), the senior will be looking to boost his scoring (8.8) and put an exclamation mark on a solid career; F Tyler Lydon. Became a real problem for opposing teams as a freshman with his shooting ability from beyond the arc (49 makes and 40.5 percent) and shot-blocking ability inside (team-best 67); G Frank Howard. Failed to start any games as a freshman and averaged 1.8 assists and 1.6 points off the bench.

Who’s new: F Matthew Moyer. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound freshman is a perfect fit for the Orange’s trademark 2-3 zone; G Andrew White III. The 6-7 Nebraska transfer by way of Kansas ranked second in scoring (16.6) and first in rebounding (5.9) as a senior for the Cornhuskers; G John Gillon. Transfer from Colorado State ranked third on the team in scoring (13.2) and tops in assists (3.8). F Taurean Thompson. Another long wingspan in the Orange defensive arsenal who at 6-10 could get time as a backup at center; G Tyus Battle. At 6-5 he’s a perfect fit for the top of the zone.

The Skinny: Last season, the Orange pulled off a shocking Final Four run, the second in four years, after a subpar regular season that included a nine-game suspension for Boeheim as part of sanctions levied by the NCAA. This team looks much stronger on paper. If Lydon progresses as expected, Roberson becomes more of a scoring force inside, and the newcomers can replace the shooting lost by the departures of Gbinije, Cooney and Richardson, Syracuse will be a force to be reckoned with again.

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