Syracuse reloads for 2012-13

If Michael Carter-Williams develops as expected, Syracuse will be a March heavyweight. Howard Smith/US Presswire

Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Syracuse Orange, No. 2 in the East (Washington).

The keys: Depth

Stat to know: 39.9 percent

The cupboard never seems bare at Syracuse. Jim Boeheim's squad lost 55.6 percent of its scoring from a year ago, an absence that would indicate "rebuilding season" for any other Division I program, yet the Orange are arguably deeper than last year's unit. The player who might be missed the most, Dion Waiters, came off the bench for Cuse and used just 60 percent of Syracuse's available minutes while converting 53 percent of his 2s and 36.3 percent of his 3s.

"We lost Dion and Scoop [Jardine], two tremendous players in our backcourt," Boeheim said. "But the good thing is we played so many guys last year, our returning players all saw a significant amount of minutes."