Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has already been fired.
Now that it’s over, he can look forward to the day when his team can claim another title.
It won’t be easy, as the program that lost its final two games of the season last year has yet to win a regular-season game in three years.
Boeheim’s Syracuse has the nation’s No. 2 overall recruiting class in 2016 and is the first ACC team to reach the NCAA tournament since 2006.
But it’s a team that also is still in the middle of rebuilding, after the departure of coach Kevin Willard.
Syracuse lost four starters to graduation and four others to transfer and the departures of five-star wing Jalen Brunson and five-stars forward Dejounte Murray.
The team’s three leading scorers — Brunson, Murray, guard Brandon Taylor and forward Alex Kipnis — are all junior college transfers.
But the team has a solid frontcourt, led by freshmen, including guard Anthony Gill, forward Nick Bunn and guard Alex Gildea.
They also have several key players returning, including forward Dwayne Bacon, guard Johnathon Lewis, forward Anthony Grier, guard Jaron Blossomgame, forward Aaron Craft and forward J.T. Thomas.
They lost to No. 19 Creighton on Sunday, but they have played their best basketball of the year.
It’s not hard to see why Syracuse was able to land the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, a pick that could help rebuild the team and the program.
The Bulldogs lost four seniors last season, and they will have to rebuild again.
The question is: Will they be able, after losing Willard and leading scorer Murray, to come back with a win on Monday?
Syracuse was already one of the nation-leaders in wins last year, but a loss would have put the program in a hole.
Boehm’s team lost the first two games, but it won at Maryland in the ACC tournament, and it took a lead into the fourth quarter of a game against Duke in the NCAA tourney to beat North Carolina in the second round.
Syracuse won three of its next four games.
That’s the type of season that Boehm will be proud of.
Syracuse also lost the ACC title game to Virginia in April, but the ACC Tournament was played in June and the Orange lost by 19 points to Duke.
Boehmeh had an impressive team, but he was also able to win the ACC, despite missing five players.
Boehn has made it clear that he wants to get back to winning.
“There’s a reason why I left here, and that’s to win championships,” Boehman said during the season.
“The reason why people came to me was to be able win championships.
I was going to do it, I’m going to be the coach of the next generation.”
He also will need to get his team back to playing well on both ends of the court, where Syracuse ranked No. 11 nationally in field goal percentage.
Boehs team finished with just 31.3 percent, which ranked it 18th in the nation.
The Syracuse program has lost three starters to graduating and four to transfer this season, including junior college transfer Anthony Gill and four-star guard Jarnell Stokes.
The Blue Devils lost to Virginia, which had a record of 13-3.
“We got to be better,” Boehn said.
“I’m not saying I’m not going to coach next year, I want to.
I want us to be good and good is not good enough.”
Boehmans team had some ups and downs this season.
But its offense has been one of its biggest weaknesses.
The Tigers struggled to get anything going in the paint and their turnovers were a major issue.
Boehdans top priority will be improving the team’s defense, especially in transition.
The Orange are one of just two teams in the country to not commit turnovers at the rim this season after averaging nearly two per game last season.
The offense is not a big part of that.
The defensive effort has been the biggest problem for Syracuse, and the coaching staff has done a good job of adjusting.
Syracuse has improved its efficiency in transition, but its struggles in transition have hurt it on the boards.
The Rebels also struggled to score at times this season and it’s not easy to overcome that.
Boehl is the perfect coach for this group, especially because of the depth of the roster.
He has plenty of talented players who could be in line to take over the offense in the coming seasons.
Boehz has a history of making major changes at the end of his tenure, and his team is looking forward to being a part of it.
Syracuse is just a few games away from its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008, and Boehm can look to the program’s success from years past to see what he can do to turn things around.
“This program has had a great time and we’ve