Syracuse was voted No. 5 in the AP men's basketball preseason Top 25 poll, joining five other Big East teams in the Top 25.
UConn (No. 4), Louisville (9), Piitsburgh (10), Cincinnati (21) and Marquette (22) all joined Syracuse in the Top 25. North Carolina was the runaway No. 1, finishing with 62 of the 65 first-place votes. UConn received two first-place votes and Ohio St. (No. 3) garnered the other.
With four returning starters, one Hall of Fame coach and a talented recruiting class, Syracuse seemingly has all the ingredients necessary for a successful 2011-12 men's basketball campaign.
The Orange will be led by Kris Joseph, a preseason first-team All-Big East selection who averaged 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds last season. Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine and Fab Melo are all returning starters from last year's team.
Freshman Rakeem Christmas joins the Orange after a highly-touted high school career. The 6'9, 222-pound forward was rated the 19th-best high school player in the country by ESPN.