ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the first time since 1976, the Syracuse men’s basketball team will have a new head coach in charge. Adrian Autry, the former Orange star in the 1990s, is taking over for the legendary Jim Boeheim.
Saturday night, Rochester got a taste of what the Orange will look like without the Hall of Fame coach. For the second straight year, Syracuse returned to Blue Cross Arena for Monroe Madness.
“The fans will see a faster-paced game,” said Autry in regards to the Orange this upcoming season. “We want to push pace. We want to get up and down. We want to play an exciting brand of basketball.”
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams scrimmaged and held three-point contests in front of the Rochester faithful while the men held a dunk contest.
Section V alumnus and Edison Tech grad Dyaisha Fair is a star on the women’s team. Fair averaged 19.9 points per game last season and was first-team All-ACC.
“We were just here a year ago so to be back again is special,” said Fair. “It’s good to see familiar faces and it’s good to know that the kids are here to see me and inspire to be like me one day.”
Fair added that her teammates call her the ‘ROC’ star because of her Rochester area roots.
Also on the women’s team is former Bishop Kearney star Saniaa Wilson, who is entering her junior season with the Orange.
Autry said that it was a good experience for his team to get away from their normal routine as it allowed them to bond with one another.
“It’s exciting to be able to come an hour and thirty minutes and get this type of support,” said Autry. “It feels good. It just speaks to the brand. It’s always exciting and I think our guys love it. Some of our new guys they didn’t know what to expect.”
The men’s team will open their season against New Hampshire at the JMA Wireless Dome on November 6th. The women will host Lafayette on November 7th.