A lot of national pundits view Syracuse basketball in the No. 8 to No. 10 range within the ACC. Alan Griffin playing is key.
Sports Illustrated recently published its summer power rankings and has Syracuse basketball at No. 8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
A couple of weeks ago, my colleagues and I at Inside The Louse House unveiled our own early pre-season ACC ratings, and I had the Orange at No. 8 as well.
In her piece on the league, Sports Illustrated college basketball editor Molly Geary wrote about the ‘Cuse, “The loss of Elijah Hughes is a big one, as he was the Orange’s best and most versatile scorer. Buddy Boeheim and Joseph Girard III will pick up some of that offensive slack but do the majority of their damage from the outside, and Marek Dolezaj returns as well. The level of sophomore leap from Girard and Quincy Guerrier in particular will likely be pivotal to Syracuse’s ceiling. If Illinois transfer Alan Griffin gets a waiver, you could argue bumping the Orange up a spot here.”
I totally agree with Geary’s assessment. In fact, should Illinois transfer Alan Griffin receive a waiver from the NCAA to immediately compete, I’m confident in saying that Syracuse can finish in the ACC’s top six.
Syracuse basketball, if some decisions go its way, is a top-six ACC squad.
Let’s assume that Griffin does, in fact, suit up for the Orange this fall. At this juncture, he has an excellent shot to land a waiver. If that occurs, I would then put the ‘Cuse at No. 6 in the ACC, behind (in order) Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and Louisville.
Geary’s ACC arrangement, for now, is Virginia, Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Syracuse, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest.
I’m a bit higher on the Hurricanes than Geary, but many of her placements are logical to me, especially considering that these are super early pre-season prognostications.
The ACC will definitely garner more NCAA Tournament bids than it would have this past spring, and the conference should prove on par with the Big Ten as the two best leagues in all of collegiate hoops.
Hopefully, Syracuse basketball will remain among those ACC teams that are firmly in the mix for a March Madness invite.