Syracuse Orange men’s basketball: revisiting the top moments from the Orange’s

Even if it felt like a rollercoaster-ish season at times, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team showed signs of progress as first-year head coach Adrian Autry worked to build the foundation for the next chapter of the program.

Syracuse reached 20 wins for the first time in half a decade this past season, despite facing a wave of injuries midseason and the surreal expectations in Autry following in the steps of long-time coach Jim Boeheim. That included an 11-9 record versus the ACC, Syracuse’s best record versus the conference since 2013-14 (the team’s first year in the ACC).

Though the Orange missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, Autry’s first year was certainly one to remember. Here are some of the most signature moments from the Orange’s first season under Autry:

November 6 (1-0) — Beginning on the right note

Led by 20 points from Judah Mintz, five players scored in double-figures as the Orange comfortably defeated New Hampshire 83-72 in Autry’s first regular season game as coach.

November 14 (3-0) — A history-making comeback

Talk about a dark-horse performance for the Orange that feels like it happened ages ago.

Early in the season, Autry’s third game was against a Colgate program whom the Orange had lost to by double-figures in back-to-back seasons. At one point, the mid-November matchup got ugly as Syracuse trailed by as much as 24 points (54-30) with just over 16 minutes to go.

Miraculous, the Orange stormed back and eventually completed the second-largest comeback win in ACC history, topping Colgate 79-75 in the JMA Wireless Dome.

November 28 (5-2) — Second-half scoring barrage versus LSU

Considering Syracuse’s tough (but expected) stretch in Maui, the Orange needed to play with a sense of urgency back in the Dome for the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge. And respond, they did.

Mintz scored a career-high 33 points (9/16 from the field, 13/15 from the foul line) while the Orange outscored the LSU Tigers 47-29 in the second half. Syracuse won 80-57.

December 5-17 (8-3, 0-1) — The Orange start streaking

After a brutal 22-point loss to Virginia, Syracuse again responded with consecutive double-digit wins against all three of Cornell (at home), Georgetown (on the road) and Oregon (in Sioux Falls).

Notably sandwiched in the middle of this stretch was the Orange’s 99th overall matchup versus the Hoyas, the first with Autry and new Georgetown head coach Ed Cooley at the helm.

December 30 (10-3, 1-1) — Depth shines in 2023 finale

Syracuse rode a four-game win streak heading into its second ACC game of the season and final of 2023. Despite trailing by eight points at halftime, Syracuse scored 51 points and outscored the Pittsburgh Panthers by 16 points in the second half.

In the 81-73 win, the Orange’s bench produced 52 points — the most in program history since December 2016. Quadir Copeland led the way with a…

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