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Villanova Basketball Opponent Capsule: Syracuse Orange

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We continue our exploration and introduction of Villanova's 2014-15 opponents. Next up, the Syracuse Orange.

Jared Wickerham

Last season: The Syracuse Orange finished 28-6 a year ago, and 14-4 in their first season in the ACC. They were sent packing in the round of 32 to the Dayton Flyers.

Last result: After falling behind by 18 points to open the game, Syracuse fought back and defeated Villanova at The Carrier Dome 78-62.

All-Time Series: Syracuse holds the all-times series lead 39-32.

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim has been at the helm since 1976, and was an Orange assistant dating back to 1969. He's currently second on the all-time wins list with a record of 948-319 (.748).

Top Returners: Trevor Cooney averaged 12.1 ppg last season and will be likely seen as the go-to guy on offense this year. Cooney can fill it up from the outside (37.5% 3FG last year). The Orange return two strong post players in DaJuan Coleman and Rakeem Christmas. Neither has been a much of a threat offensively yet in their career, but the potential is there. Michael Gbinije played a lot of minutes, but was mostly a role player.

Key Losses: The Orange's 3 best players - Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant - are no longer on campus. Those were the 3 top scorers (Grant was tied with Cooney) on a team that was ranked 253rd in points per game. Grant and Fair were also the leading rebounders while Ennis led the team in assists. Needless to say, replacing them will be a tall order. The Orange also lost Baye Keita, a defensive presence in the post.

Key Additions: 5-star forward Chris McCullough is a big addition and should help the offensive woes in the post immediately. Kaleb Joseph will need to grow up quickly - he might get the keys at point guard from day one. The Orange also boast a trio of sophomores - Tyler Roberson, Ron Patterson and Chinonso Obokoh - that were highly regarded out of high school but didn't play much a year ago. They'll likely join the rotation this year.