Syracuse Basketball: Head coaches adamant to continue SU-Hoyas series

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball left the Big East Conference (sigh) for the Atlantic Coast Conference during the 2013-14 campaign, however, the Orange and its fiercest Big East rival, Georgetown, have often played each other in the years since the ‘Cuse departure to the ACC.

By my count, the Orange and the Hoyas have battled each other on nine occasions since Syracuse basketball bolted for the ACC. And the ‘Cuse, after winning in D.C. over Georgetown on Saturday afternoon, has now won two straight versus those pesky Hoyas.

As non-conference foes dating back to 2013-14, the Orange is 5-4 against Georgetown. In their storied all-time series together, the ‘Cuse leads the Hoyas, 54-45.

On Saturday afternoon, inside the Capital One Arena, Syracuse basketball and Georgetown competed in another delightful encounter. Before more than 14,000 people in attendance, including many pro-Orange in the crowd, the ‘Cuse pulled away from the Hoyas in the second half to notch an 80-68 triumph, moving our boys to 7-3 so far in the 2023-24 season.

I opined on social media in the wake of that thrilling victory that I sincerely hope Syracuse basketball and Georgetown keep on playing each other in the years ahead. The head coaches of both squads, I’m pleased to say, are echoing that sentiment.

The Syracuse basketball rivalry versus Georgetown needs to continue.

On Saturday in our nation’s capital, the Orange’s game against the Hoyas featured first-year head coaches of both programs. Leading the ‘Cuse is Adrian Autry, who this past spring replaced the Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim on the Hill.

The new head coach of Georgetown is Ed Cooley, the former boss at fellow Big East member Providence and a coach who I really respect. The Hoyas, in recent years, have mightily struggled, yet I’m confident that Cooley is going to take Georgetown in a positive direction.

I’m biased, because I’m a graduate of Syracuse University and I’ve lived most of my adult life in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, but I’ll say this: the sport of college basketball is better off when the Orange and the Hoyas are performing well.

By extension, even though they reside in different conferences these days, the sport of college basketball is better off if Syracuse and Georgetown keep on going toe to toe. In that regard, per Mike Waters of, Autry said, “This is a game both teams want. We want to continue the series. We want this series alive. It’s a good series.”

Cooley, according to Waters, added, “As long as I’m the head coach here. I want to play Syracuse every year.”

Heck. Yeah.

Besides suiting up on the court, I expect Georgetown and the Orange to engage in some enticing dogfights on the recruiting trail as well. Led by Autry and his assistants, the ‘Cuse is clearly making the D.C. market – the “DMV,” as us locals like to call it – a recruiting focus.

The Hoyas, naturally, are based in Washington, and Cooley is a top-notch recruiter. Drew Fielder, a freshman big man for Georgetown, was a former Syracuse basketball target.

What’s more, take a look at the excellent 2024 class that Cooley and his staff have built up. This cycle includes four-star guard Kayvaun Mulready, four-star center Thomas Sorber and four-star wing Caleb Williams.

Mulready held interest from the Orange. Sorber and Williams were offered scholarships by Syracuse basketball coaches.

Since I went to SU in the late 1990s, I’ll always be in favor of the ‘Cuse being in the Big East. I’m old-school like that. However, even with the Orange in the ACC these days, it is still finding ways to play its biggest adversary, Georgetown.

I’m with Coaches Autry and Cooley. This series, even as a non-conference one, remains awesome. Let’s keep it going for years to come.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Would be huge if Chance Westry returns next month. dark