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Syracuse 2017 NCAA Basketball Title Odds Just Got Longer

Written by on May 17, 2016

The Syracuse Orange made a surprising run to the Final Four this past college basketball season as the Orange were a bubble team to simply make the field. Many experts thought that SU didn’t deserve it. The Orange were routed by North Carolina 83-66 in the national semifinals. Might Syracuse get back to the 2017 Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.? It’s going to be much tougher in the wake of some rough news for the program on Monday. The Orange are currently +8000 on sport betting odds to win the 2017 national title.

Why Did Syracuse’ 2017 NCAA Basketball Title Odds Just Got Longer?

The first piece of bad news was that Malachi Richardson will not return for his sophomore season and will stay in the NBA Draft. Richardson has signed with agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports, ending his college eligibility. The ASM Sports agency includes former Syracuse players Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney among its clients. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard Richardson averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 rebounds during his one season at Syracuse. He boosted his stock with a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament, going for 23 points and seven rebounds against Virginia in the Elite Eight and then following it up with 17 points against North Carolina in the Final Four. Richardson finished the year with 79 3-pointers, the third-best total by a freshman at Syracuse. He earned a spot on the ACC coaches’ and All-Freshman team. Richardson had entered his name into the NBA Draft, but had not initially signed with an agent. Not signing an agent gave him the ability to return to Syracuse as long as he did so by the NBA’s May 25 deadline. But that all changed Monday. He will be a first-round pick next month, likely somewhere between the late lottery and No. 20. Richardson becomes the fifth player to leave Syracuse after his freshman season, joining the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Donte Greene, Tyler Ennis and Chris McCullough. But Anthony, who led SU to the 2003 NCAA title, and Richardson are the only ones to have been a part of a Final Four team. The Orange also lost leading scorer Michael Gbinije to graduation. Ditto third-leading scorer Trevor Cooney. Had Richardson returned, he would have teamed up with Tyler Lydon to give Syracuse one of the most dangerous offensive tandems in the country. And Coach Jim Boeheim got a double dose of sour news when five-star Turkish recruit Omer Yurtseven committed to NC State over Syracuse for this coming season on Monday. Yurtseven, a 6-foot-11 center, scored 91 points in a Under-18 league game in Turkey over the weekend. He nearly outscored the opposing team as Fenerbahce defeated 9 Eylul Basketbol Ihtisas 115-92 on Sunday. The 17-year-old scored his 91 points on 39-for-60 shooting overall. He was 5-for-11 from 3-point range and went 8-for-13 at the free throw line. He also had 28 rebounds and five assists. He had also considered Utah, while fielding offers from as many as 15 schools. Yurtseven is considered a potential lottery pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Syracuse’s 2016-17 schedule hasn’t been released yet. The Orange will face South Carolina in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational on Saturday, November 26, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In addition, the Orange will host three games in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse will have home contests with Holy Cross (Nov. 15), Monmouth (Nov. 18) and South Carolina State (Nov. 22) as part of the invitational.
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