Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim decided last season to redshirt a promising freshman guard and break from the norm by giving his bench plenty of playing time. Just thinking ahead, apparently.
The Orange lost its top four players from last year's team, which won a school-record 34 games and lost only three, and yet as the new season looms Syracuse is ranked No. 9 in the AP preseason poll.
The sky's the limit, it seems, for Boeheim's 37th year as head coach. Even without top scorer Kris Joseph, spiritual leader Scoop Jardine, Big East sixth man of the year Dion Waiters and big man Fab Melo, the defensive player of the year in the conference in 2011-12.
''We've never had a team, that I can remember, lose this many guys who were such important parts of what we did, and if we had a team that had lost even close to what this team did, we certainly weren't picked in the top 20 the next year,'' Boeheim said. ''It's really a credit to the returning players ... that people think pretty highly o...