Syracuse Basketball: Orange is slotted No. 7 in the ACC by Jon Rothstein

Syracuse basketball is deemed middle of the pack by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, but he does give some praise to a few Orange players.

Heading into the 2020-21 campaign, Syracuse basketball returns four starters from a season ago, has a deep bench and possesses a strong 2020 recruiting class.

Still, the loss of former Orange star Elijah Hughes to the professional ranks is a big void to fill, as he led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring a stanza ago.

Alan Griffin, a talented junior wing who transferred to the ‘Cuse from Illinois, recently received a waiver from the NCAA for immediate eligibility. That is huge news for Syracuse basketball, as the team attempts to replace Hughes.

With Griffin able to officially compete in 2020-21, I’ve got the Orange as a fringe top-25 squad and slotted in the No. 6 position within the ACC.

I also believe that Syracuse basketball will hear its name called on Selection Sunday, although that depends in part on what the size of the NCAA Tournament field is come next spring, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, one of the best in the business, has the ‘Cuse one spot lower, at No. 7 in the league. Rothstein has published his ACC preview, and he is giving some love to several Syracuse basketball players.

In his pre-season power rankings for the conference, he’s got Virginia at No. 1, followed by Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Miami, Louisville, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Clemson, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Personally, I’m forecasting the Orange slightly ahead of the Hurricanes, but Rothstein’s arrangement of the 15 ACC crews is pretty spot on.

In his piece, Rothstein notes 15 under-the-radar freshmen, and among those on his list are Kadary Richmond and center John Bol Ajak. Richmond is a four-star combo guard and member of the ‘Cuse 2020 recruiting cycle, while Ajak redshirted a term ago.

Included in his 15 impact transfers is Griffin, a shooting guard/small forward who is an extremely efficient scorer, rebounds well and has solid range from beyond the arc.

Finally, sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier is one of Rothstein’s 10 break-out players in the ACC. Both Guerrier and Griffin are likely contenders to start at the forward position, alongside senior Marek Dolezaj.