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Two freshmen in limbo as Syracuse prepares for Canada trip

Aug 14, 2013, 6:58 PM EDT

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With the departures of guards Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche and forward James Southerland, Syracuse will enter the ACC without three of its top four scorers from a season ago. That fact makes this a good summer for the program to take a summer trip to Canada, where they’ll play two games apiece in Montreal and Ottawa before returning home.

However with their departure date just days away, the Orange could be without the services of two of their five incoming freshmen, as it was reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard that Chinoso Obokoh and Tyler Roberson are still awaiting clearance from the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.

“I don’t know if they’ll be cleared in time to go on this trip,” [Syracuse head coach Jim] Boeheim said.

The SU coach said he and his staff are unclear whether the players can practice without Clearinghouse consent, so Boeheim likely will hold them out until he learns otherwise. Boeheim said SU is “still talking to the Clearinghouse” hoping to get a resolution before the Canada trip.

It was also noted in the story that Boeheim expected the two freshmen to be cleared at some point, it’s just a matter of whether or not that answer comes before the team is scheduled to leave for Montreal.

Syracuse’s other three freshmen, Tyler Ennis, B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson, are all cleared and ready to go for the trip, which Syracuse is scheduled to begin on August 20. Of the five freshmen Ennis is the most important, as he’ll take over at the point for the departed Carter-Williams.

While having to deal with clearinghouse issues is certainly a nuisance, the “positive” for Syracuse is that these issues are occurring with players who play positions where the Orange have depth. Forwards C.J. Fair (14.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Jerami Grant (3.9, 3.0) are both back for another season, and with Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman and Baye Keita in the paint Syracuse won’t lack for options in the middle of their 2-3 zone either.

The Orange finished the 2012-13 season with a 30-10 record, losing to Michigan in the Final Four.

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