Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Basketball Season (Unofficially) Kicks off Tonight!

For the die hard Syracuse basketball junkies out there, your days are about to get a little easier. Tonight at 7PM the Syracuse Orangemen's 2010/2011 season unofficially starts with an exhibition game against Kutztown University. The game will be shown live on SNY. Many of you probably never heard of Kutztown and probably doubt that it's even a real college, but I can assure you that it is very real.

Kutztown is a division II school located in Kutztown, Pennsylvania about 20 miles southwest of Allentown. Although the school has churned out numerous mayors of Pennsylvania towns, their best known alum might be Andre Reed, former Buffalo Bills receiver.

The Kutztown Golden Bears are coming off a 23-8 season, however they will be without Division II National Player of the Year Stephen Dennis who graduated this past spring. Syracuse fans will have to watch out for Julius Gray, the team's returning leading scorer from last season. Julius Gray is a 6'0" guard and averaged 13.8 points per game last season and was first on the team in 3-pointers made. Another player that should be on Syracuse fan's radar is Eric Brennan who avaraged 17.5 points per game last year and had 40 steals at Lock Haven before transferring to Kutztown. Brennan is a 6'7" forward and averaged 7.5 rebounds per game last year.

The Golden Bear's center is Alex Reed, a 6'9" 225 pound sophomore who's career scoring high is two points. That should be a pretty nice first match up for Fab Melo, who will be making his first start at center for Syracuse University tonight. Also gives Baye Moussa Keita a good chance to get acclimated to the world of college basketball against a less than qualified opponent.

For Syracuse, we know what to expect. This game should be at least a 30 point win and anything short of a blowout would be disappointing. Everyone remembers the LeMoyne fiasco last season, and no one wants a repeat of that. Especially the players. This game also provides the rest of the freshman class a nice introduction to college basketball with 10 days to go before the regular season opener.

For those fans who missed The Cuse Connection's Basketball Season Previews, check out part 1 here, a look at the returning Orangemen from last season. Part 2 is a look at the incoming freshman players. Lastly, part 3 was a two parter. First Zach Menchini, a Cuse Connection contributer, wrote up a piece about his predicted starting five, prior to DaShonte Riley's injury, and then the second part consisted of my season prediction and a response to Zach's starting five. Also penned before the injury to Riley.

Due to DaShonte Riley's injured right foot he will most likely miss the entire season and be eligible for a medical redshirt. In part 3 of the season preview, we debated whether or not Riley would start the season at center, however now with the injury it is clear that Fab Melo will be the starting center for the Orangemen.

The game tonight will be broadcast live on SNY and tip-off is 7:00PM. Check back in with The Cuse Connection following the game for recap and analysis.

Photo courtesy of syracuse.com

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