No love for Syracuse basketball in ridiculously early pre-season rankings

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

As is a seemingly annual rite of passage these days, collegiate-hoops pundits are already putting out their massively early pre-season ratings ahead of the 2022-23 season, and Syracuse basketball is pretty much nowhere to be found.

I say pretty much, because I honestly haven’t reviewed every single one of these super early pre-season prognostications, and I acknowledge that these sorts of forecasts are a tad ludicrous, but still fun to debate!

I’ve come across at least nine pre-season top-25 rankings for 2022-23 (or something similar to a top 25, like a top 23 or a top 26 – huh?) since No. 1 seed Kansas squeaked by No. 8 seed and fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina this past Monday night to cut down the nets in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

These ratings, by the way, are from CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, ESPN, the CBS Sports Web site, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, 247Sports, Bleacher Report and Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Nothing doing for Syracuse basketball in way-too-early rankings for next season.

Again, to reiterate, these pre-season rankings are totally meaningless, given that rosters are going to get made over due to the transfer portal, NBA Draft declarations and other factors.

But, for now, not one of those pre-season ballots includes a mention of the Orange. That’s not surprising in the least, but it still stinks nonetheless.

As we all know and would soon like to forget, the ‘Cuse went 16-17 during the 2021-22 stanza. The offense was by and large good, the defense was by and large bad, and Syracuse basketball simply couldn’t prevail in a bevy of close contests to prevent head coach Jim Boeheim from enduring his first losing term in 46 years at the helm of the Orange.

So Syracuse basketball was sub-par in 2021-22. Now that we’re in the off-season, senior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim, graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim, senior forward Cole Swider and graduate student center Bourama Sidibe are done on the Hill.

Sophomore center Frank Anselem is in the transfer portal. The ‘Cuse will return a nice core of junior point guard Joe Girard III, junior guard Symir Torrence, junior center Jesse Edwards and freshman forward Benny Williams, along with an excellent six-member 2022 recruiting class.

Syracuse basketball coaches also could end up adding another center or forward via the transfer portal. We’ll have to see how everything shakes out.

My point here is that with all this roster turnover from a squad in 2021-22 that was under .500, and a ton of youth within the 2022-23 line-up, I’d be hard-pressed to understand why any college basketball expert would place the Orange in any kind of pre-season top-25 rankings.

However, this doesn’t guarantee that the ‘Cuse is going to stink up the joint in the next campaign. Far from it. It’s a young roster, for sure, but it’s also a talented one that, hopefully, will excel on both ends of the floor.

Lofty pre-season ratings, as we’ve seen in the past, don’t always equate to post-season success. And a lack of pre-season rankings doesn’t necessarily signify that a Syracuse basketball team won’t shine in March and early April.

Hi, 2003.

Next. Syracuse basketball not a finalist for 5-star Baltimore forward, No. 2 junior. dark