There are a lot of reasons why Syracuse’s season went awry. Fans can point to numerous different issues as to why the Orange had their worst season ever under JIm Boeheim. But, in our eyes here at the Fizz it comes down to just a few main issues.
First, the non conference schedule. Boeheim is typically picked on by the media for scheduling a bunch of mid-major northeast schools, but this season was different. Syracuse played three games against real teams in the Bahamas. SU played in Madison Square Garden against Villanova. Typically, Boeheim plays one non conference tournament, this year it was multiple, and that decision backfired.
Not having more than two/three easier games before playing high-major teams stunted the development of some Orange players. Benny Williams could have easily used more playing time against more teams like Lafayette and Drexel, and maybe with that development he could have had a better season.
It took Symir Torrence until the new year to prove his worth after two months of the season, and maybe the same things that would have helped Benny would have helped Symir. An easier stretch to begin the season in November before picking things up in December may have helped the Orange long term.
Second, Jesse Edwards’ injury was absolutely massive in determining the Orange’s fate. Boeheim even said so on ‘First Take’ yesterday. The loss of Edwards was catastrophic for SU’s hopes the rest of the way.
The Orange were riding a four game winning streak before Edwards got hurt, and after that only won three games in their remaining eight. The junior center may not have won SU every one of those games, but he surely would’ve made a big difference in a couple of them.
Just when Syracuse was making its late season run, it lost a player who it could not afford to lose, and that contributed to why the Orange missed the NCAA Tournament, and the postseason entirely.
Third and final, look at Syracuse’s record against teams who made the NCAA Tournament. Colgate, Auburn, Villanova, Indiana, Miami, Duke, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, North Carolina.
SU went 1-11 against teams that made the 2022 NCAA Tournament, and it had a lead in the second half in at least five of those games! Play down the stretch was a microcosm of the Orange’s season, and they lost a lot more games than they should have because of unexplainable collapses against pressure.
To make the tournament, you have to beat the best, and Syracuse could not close out games this season, the main reason they are o longer playing and all of those teams are.
Overall, there were a lot of issues with the 2021-22 Syracuse basketball team. But, these three main components were the main contributors as to why the Orange missed the postseason.
It’s up to Jim Boeheim and his staff to make sure next year’s roster does not encounter or deal with the same issues to get back where Syracuse belongs, the NCAA Tournament.