SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Syracuse basketball team met the media at the Melo Center just hours before they met the fans Friday night at the Carrier Dome. Jim Boeheim's team talked about the excitement of starting a new season, as well as the challenges in replacing the four players they lost, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo, Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine.
"It's the same level of excitement, anticipation, you have to get through this day," said head coach Jim Boeheim. "The fun starts tomorrow when we get to practice, we get to work with these guys. They've had a good fall."
The team's two seniors are guard Brandon Triche and forward James Southerland, who will have to take on the leadership mantle for the Orange to be successful.
"It's really exciting," said Triche. "As a leader, you have a team that has trust in you. Before we had different leaders. More so the pressure's on me to bring my best game, but that's a pressure I'm going to embrace."
"it's great, especially with this group of guys," added Southerland. "It's a fun group, we all work hard, it's just great."
Also returning this year are C.J. Fair, Michael Carter-Williams, Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas. They'll be joined by newcomers DaJuan Coleman, a forward from Jamesville-Dewitt, Trevor Cooney, a guard who redshirted last year, and forward Jerami Grant.
"We've been itching for this moment," said Carter-Williams. "A lot of people are overlooking us, saying we lost a lot of people, so they don't know how they're going to play. I'm just excited for it, I can't wait."
The Orange open the season Friday, November 9th aboard the USS Midway, when they face San Diego State.