On Thursday morning Jay Bilas labeled Syracuse basketball a ‘tier 4’ squad at this point in the season. Here are all the details and what that means.
Jay Bilas released his updated “Bilas Index” via ESPN which he claims is “the most comprehensive and complete examination and evaluation of college basketball proficiency and ability on this, or any, planet.”
In this beautiful piece of literature (the third version), Jay Bilas categorizes the 68 best teams in college basketball into four separate tiers which reflects a teams capabilities and ceilings:
Tier 1: National title favorites
Tier 2: Elite Eight possibles
Tier 3: Sweet 16 contenders
Tier 4: Somebody might do it, but everybody here had better get better
Syracuse basketball cracked the top-68 list at No. 47 overall (14th ranked team in tier 4). Here’s what Bilas had to say about the Orange:
“The Orange have hit a troubling stretch with three losses in their past four games, but Jim Boeheim & Co. still have a really good chance to finish in the ACC’s top four. Having Elijah Hughes back and healthy would be a great start — Hughes missed all but three minutes of Tuesday’s loss to NC State with a groin injury, but is expected to be OK long term.”
Here are several big keys to take away from what Jay Bilas had to say:
Syracuse has a “really good chance to finish in the ACC’s top four.”
If what Bilas indicates here is true, Syracuse basketball will be in the tournament conversation. Currently, the Orange are 14-10 overall, 7-6 in the conference which places them in a tie for the fifth-best record in the ACC with NC State (who just beat them on Tuesday night).
Elijah Hughes “is expected to be OK long term.”
This is the biggest theme for Syracuse basketball coming off the Wolfpack loss earlier this week. Elijah Hughes suffered a groin strain in pre-game warmups and was unable to play the full game (only played three minutes).
Without the team’s leading scorer, Syracuse wasn’t able to overcome that. Although if the injury isn’t as serious and he can return to the team quickly, things could get right back on track for the Orange.
Here’s what Syracuse has left:
Seven regular-season games: at Florida State, at Louisville, vs Georgia Tech, at Pittsburgh, vs North Carolina, at Boston College, and at Miami.
Once the regular season concludes, Syracuse will have an opportunity to pad the stats in the annual ACC Tournament (March 10-14 at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina).