Syracuse Basketball: Less daunting non-conference ideal for young roster

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Syracuse basketball non-conference calendar in 2022-23 is almost completed, and it doesn’t appear to be as brutal as a season ago.

Then again, we have no idea how good (or not good) the teams that the Orange will play in the non-conference slate this coming term will prove, and everything in that regard is pure speculation.

But at least on paper, 2022-23 seems less daunting as far as the ‘Cuse non-conference docket is concerned, and for me, I think that’s a good thing.

I say this, because the Orange ahead of 2022-23 has a vastly remade roster. Several roster members from a year ago exhausted their eligibility or left via the transfer portal.

In the upcoming campaign, the ‘Cuse does have several veterans back, but the roster also features six incoming freshmen, rising sophomore forward Benny Williams and center Mounir Hima, who transferred in from Duquesne and has three years of eligibility left.

Most of the Syracuse basketball non-conference foes in 2022-23 are known at this point.

I do believe that the 2022-23 line-up for the Orange will boast a lot of athleticism and talent, but it’s also pretty darn young, save for a few seniors like guards Joe Girard III and Symir Torrence, as well as center Jesse Edwards.

With a young (and revamped) roster, having an exceedingly tough non-conference slate could be hard to watch if the players haven’t quite gotten into a full rhythm with each other.

I’m not saying I want Syracuse basketball to square off with a bunch of cupcakes in 2022-23, but last season’s non-conference calendar included VCU, Arizona State and Auburn in the Bahamas.

It also featured Villanova in New York City, Indiana at home in the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and a road battle with Georgetown (although the Hoyas were dreadful in 2021-22). Auburn and Villanova, by the way, scored No. 2 seeds in this past spring’s Big Dance, and the Wildcats advanced to the Final Four.

SU Athletics just announced that Monmouth will head to the Hill on December 12. We also recently found out that the Orange will host Cornell on December 17 and travel to Illinois in the 2022 ACC-Big Ten Challenge on November 29.

Additionally, Syracuse basketball will welcome Lehigh to the JMA Wireless Dome on November 7, Colgate on November 15, Bryant on November 26, Oakland on December 6 and Georgetown on December 10.

Also, the ‘Cuse will reportedly compete in the 2022 Empire Classic, along with Richmond, St. John’s and Temple. I assume Syracuse basketball will play a pair of encounters in that event.

If my math is correct (never a given), Syracuse basketball has one non-conference contest remaining in 2022-23. My vote is a west coast match-up at Washington against Mike Hopkins, but that won’t be happening.

All kidding aside, the non-conference slate appears manageable for a relatively young roster in 2022-23, and I’m pumped for hoops to commence in a few months’ time.

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