SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This was supposed to be a season where the Orange are in position to win their first national championship since 2009. But, with a 5-4 record and two road games against top-five competition to close out the season, making the NCAA Tournament in general is in serious question.
Though that isn’t the most pressing issue with the program right now. Syracuse suspended its leading scorer, Chase Scanlan Tuesday for reasons not yet known. Whatever they may be, head coach John Desko says his team is taking it in stride.
“They’re dealing with it fairly well. Obviously, it changes some personnel issues. We’re adjusting to that right now. But I think the attitude is good,” Desko said. “Obviously, coming off a loss, (we) want to get back in the win column. So, the attitude has been pretty good.”
As to how long the suspension might last, or even if Scanlan would be ruled out for Saturday’s game at Virginia, Desko said he’s not sure. That’s not his focus. The only thing is program can worry about now is UVA.
“I have to stay positive, keep coaching, and keep our focus on what it is going to take to beat our next opponent. I’ve been doing this for a while. So, it’s not the first time I’ve dealt with situations like this. I’m just going to keep coaching and do what I do.”
SU must win at least one of the final two games this season to be eligible for the postseason. It’s a position the program isn’t used to being in, especially with the amount of talent they had return from a COVID-19 shortened 2020. A season they finished ranked number one.
“That’s the reason we have a hand full of guys back here. They wanted to have a shot at the NCAAs,” Desko said. “They understand the urgency here and they are doing everything they can to pay attention in practice.”
The Orange defeated the Cavs 20-10 back in February. Saturday’s contest is slated for a noon start. You can watch the game on ESPNU.