Syracuse Basketball: Dishing out preseason superlatives for 2023-24 term

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Syracuse basketball 2023-24 season is fewer than two weeks away, and I can’t wait for the start of Orange hoops.

There is excitement in the air as first-year head coach Adrian Autry leads a Syracuse basketball roster of 13 scholarship players who boast athleticism, depth and versatility.

Recent news that sophomore guard/wing Chance Westry, a transfer from Auburn, is out indefinitely due to an injury certainly is a bummer, and I’m wishing Chance a speedy recovery.

That being said, this is still a 2023-24 roster that, on paper at least, possesses a lot of talent. Preseason prognostications from ACC and national pundits are mixed ahead of the season commencing, but regardless of wins and losses, this Autry-led squad should prove fun to watch, as the head coach is expected to utilize a lot of man-to-man defense and play at an up-tempo pace.

Let’s dole out some preseason superlatives for Syracuse basketball players.

*One quick note here. I’m not including Westry in any of these items below, since we don’t know how long he will be out during the 2023-24 season.*

Leading scorer
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz (junior forward Benny Williams at No. 2)

Leading rebounder
Junior forward Benny Williams (sophomore forward Maliq Brown at No. 2)

Leader in assists
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz (sophomore guard J.J. Starling at No. 2)

Leader in steals
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz (sophomore guard J.J. Starling at No. 2)

Leader in blocks
Junior center Naheem McLeod (sophomore forward Maliq Brown at No. 2)

Field-goal shooting percentage
Junior center Naheem McLeod (sophomore forward Maliq Brown at No. 2)

3-point shooting percentage
Sophomore guard/small forward Justin Taylor (sophomore small forward Chris Bell at No. 2)

Free-throw shooting percentage
Sophomore guard/wing Quadir Copeland (sophomore guard/small forward Justin Taylor at No. 2)

Overall MVP
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz

Offensive MVP
Junior forward Benny Williams

Defensive MVP
Junior center Naheem McLeod

Most important “glue guy”
Sophomore guard J.J. Starling

X-factor
Sophomore guard/wing Quadir Copeland

Break-out player
Sophomore forward Maliq Brown

Most improved player
Sophomore small forward Chris Bell

Hustle award
Sophomore guard/small forward Justin Taylor

Unsung hero award
Redshirt sophomore guard Kyle Cuffe Jr.

Projected starting rotation
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, sophomore guard J.J. Starling, sophomore small forward Chris Bell, junior forward Benny Williams and junior center Naheem McLeod

Reserves who will play the most minutes
Sophomore guard/small forward Justin Taylor, sophomore forward Maliq Brown and sophomore guard/small forward Quadir Copeland

Contenders for All-ACC honors
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, sophomore guard J.J. Starling and junior forward Benny Williams

Contenders for All-America honors
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz

Okay, my friends. What did I get right? And what did I get totally wrong with these preseason superlative predictions for Syracuse basketball players???

Next. Seeing Kiyan Anthony, Carmelo in Syracuse basketball jerseys is glorious. dark