Syracuse basketball adds to non-conference, Greg Paulus is coming home

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Christian Brothers Academy star and Orange football quarterback Greg Paulus is coming home yet again to play Syracuse basketball.

SU Athletics announced that the ‘Cuse will host long-time rival Niagara on Thursday, Dec. 21, at the JMA Wireless Dome, as the Orange continues to fill out its 11-game non-conference schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

In a series that dates back to 1910, Syracuse basketball has an all-time edge of 55-28 over the Purple Eagles, a team that competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (“MAAC”).

The Orange has claimed 10 victories in a row versus Niagara. Since the 2019-20 stanza, Paulus’ first season as the head coach of the Purple Eagles, these two squads had competed twice, both on the Hill.

On December 28 of 2019, Syracuse basketball won, 71-57. Most recently, on December 3 of 2020, the ‘Cuse defeated Niagara by a final count of 75-45.

Syracuse basketball now has multiple announced games on its 2023-24 non-conference docket.

Paulus was a basketball and football star at the Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse before playing point guard at Duke. He then quarterbacked the Orange for one season as a graduate student.

In 2022-23, Syracuse basketball went 17-15 overall, and the ‘Cuse will be guided this coming season by first-year head coach Adrian Autry, who replaced the Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim.

Last season, Niagara sported a 16-15 mark, falling to Iona in the semifinals of the MAAC’s post-season tournament. In Paulus’ four campaigns leading the Purple Eagles, Niagara has finished at 12-20 in 2019-20, 9-11 in 2020-21, 14-16 in 2021-22 and 16-15 in 2022-23.

This off-season, Paulus and his assistants have hit the NCAA’s transfer portal hard. A recent press release on the Niagara athletics department Web site noted that Paulus added seven transfers for the team’s 2023-24 season.

Niagara is the latest contest revealed as part of the Orange’s upcoming non-conference slate. The ‘Cuse will host New Hampshire on Monday, Nov. 6, in the 2023-24 season opener that will also serve as Autry’s head-coaching debut.

On Sunday, Dec. 17, Syracuse basketball will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., to face Pac-12 Conference member Oregon in a neutral-site encounter at the Sanford Pentagon.

The Orange will also play three games as part of the loaded eight-team field at the 2023 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, which will transpire from November 20 to November 22 at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

This year’s Maui Jim Maui Invitational features Syracuse basketball, Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA and Chaminade.

By my count, that’s six non-conference affairs at this juncture that have been publicly announced, with five more to go to fill out this calendar.

Additionally, the Orange has two exhibitions scheduled, with each occurring at the Dome. The ‘Cuse will square off with Daemen University on Friday, Oct. 27, and then the College of St. Rose on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

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