What's Next for Syracuse?

Nerlens Noel

With anticipation building until the moment he decided late Wednesday, Scout's No. 1 prospect Nerlens Noel chose to play his college basketball at Kentucky. So what's next for Syracuse?

It was down to Syracuse, Kentucky and Georgetown for Nerlens Noel on Wednesday, and the Wildcats came out on top when he announced on an ESPNU broadcast.

So what's next for the Orange?

The process reverts back to what it was before Noel reclassified from the Class of 2013 earlier this year when the entire class was comprised of five-star center DaJuan Coleman and four-star forward Jerami Grant. The class is still pushing the top 10 in America, and SU will return plenty of talent despite not capitalizing on Noel.

Wednesday's news is considered good for a few members on the projected roster - mainly Baye Keita and Rakeem Christmas. The two big men filled in well for the now-departed Fab Melo once he was ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament but incoming freshman Coleman and Noel would have created quite the position battle up front an likely ahead of the returning players.

With just Coleman entering the mix, Keita is likely going to remain a backup to which ever center starts for SU. Christmas and Coleman both have the skill-set to play the power-forward spot offensively, and each has worked at the wing position before.

Coleman is another player greatly affected by Noel's decision. He will be all-but guaranteed considerable playing time barring any injury or conditioning issues. He told CuseNation.com that he has been working at both the four-spot and at center in the off-season as his first fall camp nears.

The other potential power forwards on the team - projected starter C.J. Fair and senior-to-be James Southerland - will also see more potential minutes.

Moving Forward

Syracuse will be one of the deeper teams in the country, and will likely go nine players deep.

At guard, sophomore Michael Carter-Williams is expected to take the point guard role with Scoop Jardine graduated. Alongside him should be Brandon Triche, a returning starter. The third guard spot will be occupied by Trevor Cooney, a redshirt freshman with the ability to score at will from long range or near the rim.

Fair, Southerland and Grant will theoretically rotate in the three and possibly four-spot while Coleman, Christmas and Keita will do the same at the four and the five.

Nine players were prominent in Syracuse's 2011-12 rotation on the way to an Elite Eight berth, will it be the same formula to push furhter in 12-13? Like with Noel's decision, we'll just have to wait and see.

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