NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse Orange 2013-14 Preview & Odds

Joe Catalano

Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:02 PM GMT

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 6:02 PM GMT

Things will become very interesting for sports picks as the Syracuse Orange move out of the Big East and become part of a 15 team ACC Conference.

This could be some of the best college basketball that we’ve seen in a long time. Let's look at the Orange and their future betting odds.

Recap

The Orange took it to the limit last year as a number 4 seed, but were ultimately ousted by a tough Michigan Wolverines team in the Final Four. Coach Jim Boeheim and company almost managed to pull off the unthinkable.

Letdown Year?

According to sportsbooks, the Orange are +3000 to win the National Championship, but I think that this is a lousy price considering that they’ve lost Michael Carter-Williams. Brandon Triche, and James Southerland to either the NBA or graduation. Do they know something that I don’t know or are they going off of reputation alone?

C.J. Fair Returns!

These are the 3 words that Jim Boeheim needed to hear in order for Syracuse to have a legitimate basketball squad. Fair is inconsistent at times, but the 6 foot 8 headbanded senior returns and he has the knack of coming up big at the crucial time of a game.

At 14.5 points and 7 rebounds per game, Fair could’ve turned to the NBA, but instead, he can make this senior season his own and improve his stock that much more. Look for a monster year out of Fair as Cuse’s go to guy.

It’s Christmas Time!

I must admit, I thought that center Rakeem Christmas was a pure bench warmer, but this big man came up big several times last year for the Orange.

He must show more consistency at the offensive end. That said, he’s battle-tested against the best and has room for improvement. Christmas saw 20 minutes per game last season and averaged 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. I don’t expect the numbers to skyrocket, but his experience will be immeasurable for a team that needs it.

Top Recruits

Of course with a team like Syracuse that has such a great reputation, you’re going to get a lot of incoming freshman that want to play immediately and now especially that they can face the likes of Duke and UNC.

5 Star-Recruit

As the 20th top recruit overall, according to ESPN, Tyler Ennis will immediate step into the Syracuse rotation. Ennis doesn’t possess super athletic skills, but he’s a superb ball handler and has a great head for the game. Look for this native Canadian to make an immediate impact this season. This should be a fast paced ball club as Ennis is an elite player on the fast break. This should also fit well with the game of C.J. Fair.

Another top level recruit, New Jersey’s Tyler Roberson, is another player that should make an immediate impact on this team. New Jersey is a hotbed for talent and although Roberson needs to fill out a bit, the 6 foot 7 forward can do it all.

He’s known for his jump hook shot when his back is turned to the basket. Along with that, Roberson can stroke the ball with his feet set and has great length for his size. I expect him to be a major force in the future. Syracuse sure knows how to land the big-time players and they have one in Tyler Roberson.

Kobe Bryant’s High School?

We all know that Kobe Bryant didn’t go to college, but rounding out the top recruits is small forward, B.J. Johnson.  Johnson is a work in progress that can rebound, but at 6 foot 7, 165 pounds, this young man needs to put on weight or he’ll be less effective at the college level.

Check out my Preview on the North Carolina State Wolfpack as well

Bad Blood?

I don’t know if Duke transfer, Michael Gbinije is good enough for there to be considered bad blood between him and Duke, but he stays in the conference and if he get’s the “PT”, you bet that he’d love to stick a dagger in Coach Krzyzewski’s heart. Gbinije only made 19 appearances as a freshman and played very little. This is a story to keep an eye on.

Outlook

Some people expect this to be a down season for Syracuse, but I happen to disagree. This is a team with a top notch head coach and a bunch of gamers with athleticism. Look for Syracuse to do damage in the ACC and beyond for our NCAA Basketball Picks.

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