Syracuse is (already) underrated

Loss of Ennis and Grant is a blow, but the Orange have their ways

Updated: August 7, 2014, 1:47 AM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider

Jim BoeheimMark Konezny/USA TODAY SportsJim Boeheim has managed to produce consistency over the years, despite losing high-caliber players.

Recently, I labeled Syracuse as one of the nation's most consistent teams. I probably should have added, however, that the consistency displayed by the Orange of late is about to receive a severe test: Jim Boeheim said goodbye to three of his four double-digit scorers from last season.

C.J. Fair completed his eligibility, and Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant left school early to pursue their ambitions in the NBA. As a result of these departures, I'm now coming across preseason top-25s that omit Syracuse entirely. When colleague Jay Bilas released his top contenders for 2014-15 a little while back, the Orange were nowhere to be found.

I think that might turn out to be a mistake. I've seen Boeheim lose three starters before, but what I haven't seen in a very long time is Syracuse earning anything worse than a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

In fact, that hasn't happened since 2007-08.