Syracuse Basketball: Why 2023-24 season has the potential to be special

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

This Syracuse basketball team started the 2022-23 season young and filled with potential but struggling too. But honestly, this roster is mostly true freshmen so one could see why it might take time to acclimate to their new environment and level of competition.

But as the season has progressed, we are definitely seeing reasons to have hope in this team. And it’s my opinion that the future is bright IF this team can stay together. In fact, it’s my contention that the way they’re maturing and developing, I truly think this could be a team that during the 2023-2024 season could contend for titles.

Let me start by saying that I’m not ruling out a late-season impressive run. I could see the Orange going on a run in the ACC Tournament as a springboard to getting into the NCAA Tournament and surprising critics. I never doubt anyone, especially a team I’m a fan of so there is always that but this is also about the future.

Before the season really started, Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim praised Judah Mintz as possibly one of the best point guards he’s seen at Syracuse in a long time. He also reminded us as the season progressed to be patient because he’s young but he’s got potential. And as the season progresses, I know me personally I’m definitely seeing what he saw as he’s creating shots and plays for others like a true floor general can do.

Syracuse basketball could be poised for an excellent 2023-24 season.

But with that potential along with the senior status of Joe Girard, Symir Torrence and Jesse Edwards, one has to question if everyone will return next season, especially in this current college basketball environment with options to go pro, NIL and the transfer portal.

I don’t know the answer but in my heart and my brain I truly believe that if Syracuse basketball can get them all back (I believe all 3 seniors have a Covid year of eligibility left), I truly think this could be a very special team next season.

As I mentioned, Judah is definitely becoming the point guard you can’t help but love and root for. Those seniors are contributing and having big games as well. But don’t sleep on the potential of the others on this roster as well.

Let’s start with Maliq Brown, who like Judah is definitely showing as the season progresses that he can contribute. He also seems to be creating great chemistry with Judah which only helps.

Benny Williams’ name is one discussed a lot this season and last for various reasons and he’s a guy I truly think is going to break out soon. Yes, he’s struggled but I’m 50 and have done my job for 20-plus years now, and I still struggle sometimes too.

But if you ask my boss why they keep me it’s because when I’m on my game, I deliver and I believe Benny Williams is going to show those glimpses we see that bring us hope will become more frequent. Benny doesn’t have to be Michael Jordan but he could definitely be Syracuse’s Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman and a huge part of the success.

And can we talk about the shooting of Chris Bell and Justin Taylor? Both have shown the potential to be the player to hit those long shots especially if Joe is struggling or covered. It only helps this team to have multiple players that the coaching staff can use to hit long shots/threes when needed or if it looks like those are the shots opposing teams are giving up.

I’m not a big stat guy but I do remember Justin (a Virginia guy) going off for 12 points against Virginia Tech and Chris has had multiple double-digit scoring games this season including 17 against Notre Dame.

And I also think guys like Quadir Copeland, Mounir Hima, John Bol Ajak, and Peter Carey add a depth that while stat sheets may not show much, can only help this team. And this season Coach Boeheim has definitely shown he’s not afraid to go deep on his bench if needed so these players could get the opportunity to prove they’re capable of playing more and helping this team win.

In conclusion, I’ve watched this team grow and mature, and I love what I see. I don’t know what it will take to keep all these pieces together but I do truly believe that if Syracuse basketball can, this team has nowhere to go but up and could finish this season strongly and be a perennial contender next season with more time playing together and adapting to life in the NCAA/ACC. An old guy like me remembers when players stayed 3-4 years but times change and so must we.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope for at least one more season that I believe could be special and possibly bring one more national championship banner to the JMA Wireless Dome rafters and another tee shirt to my collection.

Next. Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Elijah Moore playing like 5-star prospect. dark