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Despite losing pieces, Syracuse still confident
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 1, 2012 @ 5:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Pitoniak, USA TODAY Sports
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Brandon Triche grew up in Syracuse and has followed Orange basketball since he was knee-high to a ball rack. The thing that has impressed him most about the program is its long, unabated success. Twenty-win seasons and NCAA tournament appearances have been the norm under Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim for nearly four decades.
“Good players come and go, and they don’t skip a beat,” the senior guard says. “Syracuse always seems to have guys waiting in the wings ready to step up. I think that’s a testament to Coach and his staff and their ability to recruit and develop players. The cupboard’s never bare. It’s always well-stocked.”
And so it is again this season.
Despite the departure of two first-round NBA draft choices (Dion Waiters and Fab Melo) and two other major contributors (Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine) from a team that had a school-record 34 wins, the Orange players and coaches are confident they’ll be reloading rather than rebuilding.
“I think we can actually go farther than we did last year,” says junior forward C.J. Fair, who averaged 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds for last season’s Elite Eight team. “I think we can bring home a second national championship, I really do. I know that sounds nuts to some people, because we lost a big chunk of talent. But we’ve got a lot of guys ready to step up, and we’ve got some new guys who are going to make an immediate impact.”
Triche, who is 6-4, and Fair, who is 6-8, are primed to lead the way in Syracuse’s swan song season in the Big East. Other returning players who saw substantial court time last season include sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams, senior swingman James Southerland, sophomore center Rakeem Christmas and junior center Bay Keita.
Toss in redshirt freshman shooting guard Trevor Cooney and incoming McDonald’s All-America forwards DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant, and you have a rotation that could go 10 deep again.
“I like the makeup of this team,” says Boeheim, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his arrival on campus as a basketball walk-on. “We played … [For more on Despite loss of key pieces, Syracuse still confident, click here.]
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