For just the second time in his 44 years with the Orange, Jim Boeheim’s team this season will feature zero seniors. In what seems to be a rebuilding year for Syracuse, four starters are gone from last year’s team that went 20-14 and got bounced by Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Most notably, Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett who combined to average almost 30 points per game last season are gone. Boeheim’s patented 2-3 zone has been a staple for the Orange and has led to some pretty good defensive teams. With the lack of size and length noticeable, Boeheim has hinted at his team maybe playing some man-to-man defense at points this season.
Will they show any against Virginia? We aren’t sure. Elijah Hughes is Syracuse’s most potent offensive threat as he returns after tallying 13.7 points per game last season. He will likely be joined in the starting lineup by Buddy Boeheim, Jim’s son who averaged just under seven points per game during the 2018-19 season. With this game being not only each team’s season opener, but also ACC opener, there are a lot of questions on both sides but the home court advantage of the Carrier Dome could play a factor. Virginia has had success up north recently, but all records will literally be thrown out of the window come 9pm Wednesday night as each squad looks to start the season 1-0. ESPN’s BPI has the Cavaliers at a 63.6% chance to win the game.