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Syracuse basketball (video): James Southerland ready to be an impact player

Syracuse basketball's senior forward speaks to SB Nation New York's Jared Smith at Big East media day about the upcoming season.

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team will enter the 2012-13 season with a lot of turnover on its roster, however, a lot of the names filling the voids are recognizable to college hoops fans. Yet, one player, senior forward James Southerland, could be the least flashy name of them all but he could be the one that makes the biggest leap in production.

Last season, Southerland played a complementary role as a backup to senior forward Kris Joseph and sophomore C.J. Fair. This season, the 6'8, 215-pound senior will still play a backup role, however, he will be SU's No. 1 guy off the bench, a position that SU's second-leading scorer, Dion Watiers, served as last season.

Last Wednesday, I was able to speak to the Bayside, NY native at Big East Conference media day and it was obvious that he's ready to make a bigger impact in the Orange lineup.

Syracuse will begin its season with a military-themed game against the San Diego St. Aztecs on Nov. 9. The non-conference contest will be played on the deck of the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Midway located in San Diego.