Syracuse Basketball: KenPom isn’t super high on ACC ahead of 2022-23

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

A stanza ago, the Atlantic Coast Conference got five teams into the Big Dance, although Syracuse basketball, with its 16-17 overall record, obviously wasn’t one of them.

The ACC had a terrific showing in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Of the five squads that made March Madness, three of them – North Carolina, Duke and Miami – reached at least the Elite Eight.

The Blue Devils got to the Final Four, while the Tar Heels, led by first-year head coach Hubert Davis, advanced to the national-championship game, where UNC fell to Kansas in a tight, three-point contest.

Duke and North Carolina are expected to be among the ACC’s royalty in the upcoming 2022-23 campaign, although how deep the conference will prove, as far as NCAA Tournament invites are concerned, remains to be seen.

But as a whole, how strong will Syracuse basketball and the rest of the ACC be in 2022-23?

All of these early projections, with the next season still a few months away, are supremely speculative. I acknowledge that. However, I am getting the sense that the Orange, at best, will reside on the bubble in 2022-23, according to pundits.

And the ACC as a collective unit could end up trailing a handful of other leagues in national power rankings for this coming season.

To that end, per an article from 247Sports national writer Kevin Flaherty, analytics and statistics guru KenPom has apparently ranked the top projected conferences for 2022-23, and the ACC has multiple leagues in front of it in these ratings.

According to Flaherty, KenPom ranks college basketball conferences through a metric called adjusted efficiency margin. Flaherty describes this metric as “how many points a team scores per 100 possessions minus how many points it allows through 100 possessions. And the ‘adjusted’ part weighs a team’s competition level.”

In KenPom’s conference power rankings for 2022-23, the Big 12 Conference resides at No. 1, followed by the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Big East Conference and then the ACC at No. 5.

Naturally, these sorts of projections are just that – projections. So when the ‘Cuse and its ACC peers start playing games, we’ll really find out where this conference rates among other leagues on a national scale.

I think part of the issue with the ACC, at least over the past couple of years, is that Duke has often been a powerhouse. But other perennial heavyweights in the league, like North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia, haven’t been as consistently good.

And beyond the top few teams season after season, the ACC hasn’t had a whole lot of strong depth in its middle group – Syracuse basketball is one example of that.

In 2020-21, as we all know, the Orange made the Sweet 16. But last season, the ‘Cuse was under .500.

I think that the Cavaliers, for one, will be a better team in 2022-23. I also like Notre Dame. And I’m hopeful that Syracuse basketball can rebound after a sub-par 2021-22.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Projected starting rotation for the 2022-23 season. dark