It hasn’t taken long for the Syracuse Orangemen to adjust to the ACC. This being their first year in the conference, the Orange have started the season 18-0 and have jumped to #2 in the national rankings. Part of that undefeated start came with a win over #22 Pitt on Saturday.
In the 59-55 win against Pittsburgh, Syracuse was led by Tyler Ennis, the 6’2” freshman guard from Canada. Ennis hasn’t had quite the impact that some of the other freshman in the nation, but when you consider where his team stands with an undefeated record, his production can’t go overlooked. Ennis is averaging 11.6 a game, 3.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists thus far on the season.
The Orange also get regular input from senior forward CJ Fair and sophomore guard Trevor Cooney, who average 17 and 14 points per game respectively.
Part of the streak for Syracuse has included wins over #18 Baylor and #8 Villanova. They’ve easily beaten up on some other lesser opponents, but now that they are in conference play, things surely won’t be a cakewalk. Luckily for them, they’ve proven with their 5-0 start in the league, including wins over North Carolina and Miami, that they can hang.
Next on the schedule for Syracuse will be a rematch against the Hurricanes. They won the first meeting in a tough 49-44 game. Now that the game will be in Miami, we’ll certainly have to keep an eye out to see if the Hurricanes can knock the Orange from the ranks of the unbeaten.
After Miami, Syracuse will have a huge game against Duke. Even though the Blue Devils haven’t been playing as most are accustomed too, this should be a huge matchup between two national powers. We’ll also get to see how Ennis does against fellow freshman Jabari Parker.
There is no denying that Syracuse has had an amazing stretch to start their season. If they can make it two more games, they’ll match the best start in school history. But what might be the most impressive out of all of this is how well they’ve adjusted to playing in the ACC.