Syracuse basketball is focusing on the upcoming campaign, with the Orange set to welcome Mercer to the Hill, according to a report from Jon Rothstein.
Roughly a week has gone by since Syracuse basketball saw its 2019-20 term come to a halt in the ACC Tournament due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. March Madness isn’t taking place, which is sad, and it’s a scary time for the world, yet the Orange is pushing forward as it pertains to the non-conference slate in 2020-21.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweeted on Thursday, citing a source, that Mercer will make a trip to the Carrier Dome as part of the out-of-conference calendar for the ‘Cuse in the ensuing stanza.
So let’s explore this new Syracuse foe. Mercer, a member of the Southern Conference, has total student enrollment of 8,759, according to the private university’s Web site. Its main campus is in Macon, Ga.
The Bears’ primary colors in athletics are orange and black. That’s fun. Mercer’s most-recent Big Dance appearance came in 2014. As a No. 14 seed, the Bears upset No. 3 seed Duke in the round of 64, which is also fun, before Mercer got bounced in the round of 32 by No. 11 seed Tennessee.
In 2019-20, the Bears wrapped things up at 17-15 overall, and 11-7 in the Southern Conference,
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good for fourth place in the league. Mercer, seeded fourth in the Southern Conference post-season tourney, fell to fifth-seeded Western Carolina in the quarterfinals.
While obviously the Bears’ roster is subject to change heading into 2020-21, during this past year, they averaged 71.7 points per contest while connecting on 44.9 percent from the field, 72.2 percent from the charity stripe and 35.9 percent from beyond the arc.
It’s worth noting that Mercer’s top-two scorers from 2019-20, guards Djordje Dimitrijevic and Ethan Stair, are seniors. As far as two key metrics go, the Bears checked in at No. 198 via kenpom.com, and at No. 187 in the NCAA NET system.
This would amount to the inaugural meeting between Mercer and the ‘Cuse, which is always cool. Not a lot of Syracuse’s non-conference docket for 2020-21 is known, save for the Bears and Georgetown.
Mercer is a solid mid-major, and I’m curious to discover what other opponents the Orange lines up in the near future.