Syracuse Basketball: Some fans predict doom and gloom for next season; let's give it time

Some Syracuse basketball fans are freaking out about next season, but 'Cuse coaches have more time to make roster additions.
Some Syracuse basketball fans are freaking out about next season, but 'Cuse coaches have more time to make roster additions. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

Social media and chat rooms have proven an interesting place this weekend as some Syracuse basketball fans are already predicting doom and gloom for the upcoming 2024-25 season.

If you've been on social media or in chat rooms over the past day or so, you've seen the rumors. I haven't seen anything official, so I'll not get into this any further.

Regardless of any discussion over one specific player, the sentiment among some fans is that Orange coaches have fared poorly this off-season in constructing their roster for 2024-25.

Whether I agree with this sentiment or not, I do understand this line of thinking and a sense of skepticism for the next campaign. Since the 2023-24 season ended, and the transfer portal opened, seven players on last term's roster have hit the portal, with many of them having since then found new collegiate homes.

Additionally, sophomore point guard Judah Mintz is headed to this summer's NBA Draft. On the flip side, the 'Cuse 2024 recruiting class consists of two high school seniors and three college transfers.

That means eight 2023-24 guys have left, five 2023-24 players are returning, and five new commits are entering the program. This also means that at the time of this writing, the Orange staff still has three open scholarships for the 2024-25 stanza.

Some Syracuse basketball fans are already freaking out as it relates to the 'Cuse 2024-25 season.

Now, is the Syracuse basketball 2024-25 roster better or worse than last season? That remains to be seen, although my guy Jackson Holzer recently discussed this topic on his fabulous Locked On Syracuse podcast.

Without question, some of the departures sting, especially sophomore big man Maliq Brown heading to fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Duke.

The Orange appears in need of at least one or two more big men ahead of 2024-25. Another point guard is a possibility, as well as a 3-point specialist out on the wing.

But is the 'Cuse destined for a sub-par 2024-25 after going 20-12 this past season under first-year head coach Adrian Autry, the first time in a decade that Syracuse basketball won at least 20 regular-season games? My response would be, how the heck can we know that right now?

For one, we don't know the entirety of the Orange's 2024-25 schedule. The team's Atlantic Coast Conference pairings are out. Syracuse basketball will compete at this year's Legends Classic in November at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein recently reported that the 'Cuse is likely to face Big Ten Conference member Maryland in December, also at the Barclays Center. To reiterate, though, the full 11-contest docket in the non-conference is to be determined.

What's more, it remains to be seen whether or not Syracuse basketball coaches are done with additions to their current 2024-25 roster.

College transfers had to be in the portal by May 1, but their recruiting processes could carry on for weeks or even months. The Orange staff could look to bring in another player or two via the portal, the junior-college ("JUCO") route, or even at the high school level.

Last week, Cheikh Sadibou Ndiaye, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center in the 2024 class out of the Prestige Worldwide Sports Academy in Lauderhill, Fla., took a visit to the Hill. His head coach, Brad Traina, did relay to me via text message that Ndiaye's visit went well and he likes Syracuse basketball, but whether SU coaches end up offering Ndiaye a scholarship remains to be determined.

I understand that some Orange fans are a bit anxious, nervous and/or skeptical about how the 'Cuse might fare in 2024-25. But some of these blanket statements I've seen this weekend - declaring the 2024-25 season over before it has even begun - seem a tad premature.

Let's take a collective deep breath and see what Syracuse basketball coaches end up doing with their roster construction in the coming weeks or months. The off-season is far from over.

Then, from there, I think we'll better be able to assess what the forecast could be for our beloved Orange in the next stanza.

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