Syracuse, N.Y. – The leaves are altering colours, all the things is pumpkin-flavored and school basketball season is correct across the nook.
I’m listening to from a variety of Syracuse followers as of late. Everybody appears to be excited concerning the upcoming season regardless of the uncertainty as a result of coronavirus. We don’t actually have a schedule out but and the season is slated to start on Nov. 25.
But it surely’s all the time good to listen to from readers. You’ve been sending in a variety of questions not too long ago, so let’s get to them.
Q: Who do you undertaking because the beginning 5 and who do you suppose will have an effect off the bench?
Mike: This query comes up yearly round this time and it’s not often a simple one to reply.
It’s even more durable this 12 months as a result of reporters haven’t been in a position to watch any of the staff’s exercises on the Melo Middle as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
I feel we will pencil within the 4 returning starters into the beginning lineup once more. That may put Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard within the backcourt, Marek Dolezaj at ahead and Bourama Sidibe at middle.
That leaves Elijah Hughes’ spot on the small ahead place because the lone opening within the beginning lineup.
It will secure to foretell that the 2 prime candidates for the job are sophomore Quincy Guerrier and Illinois switch Alan Griffin. The attention-grabbing factor is that Guerrier and Griffin are two utterly completely different gamers with two distinct ability units.
Guerrier is a powerfully-built 6-foot-7, 220-pound ahead. He’s a rugged rebounder; an space through which Syracuse struggled final 12 months. He struggled a bit defensively final 12 months and solely made three of his 24 pictures from 3-point vary.
However we additionally know that Guerrier performed by way of an damage final season, requiring low season surgical procedure to restore torn muscular tissues in his core.
Griffin is a 6-foot-5 junior who ought to add a fringe scoring risk to SU’s offense. Griffin averaged 8.9 factors per sport at Illinois final 12 months regardless of taking part in simply 18 minutes per sport. He additionally linked on 41.6 p.c of his 3-point makes an attempt.
I’m going to guess that Griffin begins. I like his scoring skill. He’s a bit undersized, however just like gamers like Malachi Richardson, Michael Gbinije and Hughes who have been basically guards on offense and small forwards on protection.
I count on Guerrier to stay within the sixth-man position that he crammed final 12 months, however I feel he’ll be much more productive this 12 months. Syracuse will want him to rebound, he’ll turn out to be a stable defender and search for him so as to add extra to the offense as a sophomore.
Q: What particular Covid assessments have the gamers had and the way usually are they examined?
Mike: The Syracuse gamers, coaches and workers have been examined as soon as every week since returning to the campus in mid-summer. They are going to be examined thrice per week in the course of the season.
At first, the assessments concerned the nasal swab. They then switched to the saliva check and not too long ago the assessments have been the swab contained in the mouth.
I’m undecided what sort of assessments might be used within the season.
Q: Will the school basketball groups be as profitable utilizing the “bubble” because the NBA was?
Mike: There gained’t be a bubble in school basketball and that’s the massive concern heading into the 2020-21 season.
The NBA introduced its groups to 1 location for the playoffs and the bubble in Orlando labored.
Faculty basketball doesn’t have that possibility for its common season, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see the NCAA match moved right into a bubble-like atmosphere.
Main league baseball had a number of points early on with the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals that threatened the season. The NFL has needed to postpone video games and shuffle its schedule.
It’s going to be tough for school basketball applications to rearrange video games. The schedule, which normally has two or three video games per sport as an alternative of 1 as in soccer, simply doesn’t enable for that sort of flexibility.
Faculty applications should be extraordinarily vigilant. Not like in soccer the place a number of optimistic assessments consequence within the cancellation of 1 sport, an outbreak on a basketball staff may power the cancellation of two or three video games in a single week.
Q: What’s the story behind Carmelo holding a duplicate of The Put up-Normal after successful the title in 2003? Clearly, the papers have been printed earlier than the sport, however how did Melo receive a duplicate? Was he the one participant to obtain one?
Mike: We print what are generally known as Ego editions of the paper previous to massive video games like Syracuse’s sport in opposition to Kansas for the 2003 NCAA championship or SU’s sport in opposition to Virginia within the 2016 match when a visit to the Remaining 4 was on the road.
On common, we print about 500 copies.
Within the moments after Syracuse beat Kansas, Put up-Normal reporters, together with myself, handed out the papers to any SU participant close to press row and likewise to SU followers within the rows closest to the court docket.
The picture of Carmelo Anthony holding up one of many Ego editions is acquainted to most Syracuse followers.
The true key’s to maintain the editions from getting out. They might look sort of silly if SU misplaced. Over time, I’ve needed to “dispose” of a number of papers.
Extra Orange basketball: