There have been a lot of wacky moments during this college basketball season. One thing has been consistent -- Syracuse has been the crème de la crème in the sport.
Jim Boeheim's team is sitting at 18-0. The Orange has not been tested very often and that is impressive when looking at the resume. The team blew out a Top 25 team, Seton Hall, by 26. There are other victories over ranked teams like Florida and Marquette. Then add wins over respectable programs like Stanford, Virginia Tech, NC State and Marshall. It has been a nice run for the school from upstate New York.
In a year where the Big East has not really lived up to its lofty expectations, Syracuse has been carrying the load for the conference.
My friends, this is the deepest Orange team that I have seen. Boeheim has no trouble playing 10 players; in fact, 10 guys average over 10 minutes per game. Night in and night out, someone else steps up and comes through big-time. There is great size up front. This team runs well in transition.
Right now, the only team that could beat Syracuse is Syracuse. Sure, on any given night a team can come up flat. There are so many talented contributors, it is hard to believe all 10 will have the same bad night.
I love what Dion Waiters has done for the Orange, and he is coming off of the bench. His productivity is unbelievable considering he plays just over half the game. It is outstanding when you can put in almost 13 points per game in such a limited time. He can pass, score, defend, and he provides a spark when he is inserted into the lineup. When you have Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine in the backcourt, and then throw in Waiters, it is impressive.
Then look at Kris Joseph, a real PTP'er who is averaging around 14 points per game in less than 30 minutes an outing. He can go inside-outside and is an exciting player to watch.
The development of Fab Melo up front has been a major positive as well. He is in better shape and is a shot-blocking threat in the lane, averaging almost three blocks per game. He is a real contributor this season, something you could not say last season.
There are a number of tests ahead, including two games with preseason co-favorite Connecticut.
Hall-of-Famer Boeheim has had a number of quality teams over the years. He has a national championship ring from 2003 in New Orleans, which is where he would like to be again this April. I believe this is his deepest team ever, and that is saying a lot.