Syracuse should be strong again despite departures

By John Kekis

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 12:05 p.m. MDT

Syracuse guard Dion Waiters (3) drives for a layup against Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger, right, during the first half of the East Regional final game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 24, 2012, in Boston.

Elise Amendola, Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Despite a tough 77-70 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night that deprived Syracuse of its fifth Final Four berth, the Orange had an impressive season in spite of off-court problems that began with the firing of assistant coach Bernie Fine in November amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Syracuse had a ranking of either first or second since January and was unbeaten in the Carrier Dome for only the second time. The Orange finished with 30 wins in the regular season and 34 overall, both school records.

Heading to next season, the leadership of departing veterans Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph will be missed, and Fab Melo and Dion Waiters have the NBA beckoning. But a strong nucleus remains headed by Brandon Triche, a three-year starter at guard.

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