Jim Boeheim is set for his 44th season at Syracuse, and this time around the Orange got a jump start with a summer trip to Italy.
With five freshmen on board and lots of scoring to replace, that's a plus.
''Everybody on the trip contributed and looked comfortable in what we were trying to do. We're a little further ahead,'' Boeheim said Friday at the team's annual media day. ''From that point of view, it was very helpful. But basically you still go back and do the same things that you would do every year. We're a little further ahead. There's personnel coming back, but there's so many new guys you do a lot of teaching stuff that is new to them.''
Among those returning are forwards Elijah Hughes, Marek Dolezaj, Robert Braswell, and Bourama Sidibe, and guards Howard Washington, Buddy Boeheim – the coach's youngest son – and Jalen Carey. Gone is a trio – Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard – that played big minutes and accounted for 55 percent of the scoring on a team that averaged 69.7 points a game last season, as well as towering center Paschal Chukwu, who had 57 blocks.