Syracuse, Temple to play at MSG in inaugural Gotham Classic

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One team is on its way into the Big East, the other is on its way out, but conference affiliation won’t matter on December 22.

Syracuse and Temple will meet just before Christmas in the inaugural Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

When the Classic tips off, these rosters will look much different than they do at this end of this season, as the hearts of both teams will either graduate or leave for the NBA.

For the Owls, Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore are graduating. That leaves just Khalif Wyatt in the strong Temple backcourt from 2011-12.

To replace those departures, though, the Owls are adding two solid swingmen from the Class of 2012 in Quenton DeCosey and Daniel Dingle.

The Orange are hurt most by the departure of Sixth Man of the Year Dion Waiters, who is leaving for the NBA, and senior combination Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph, who will be graduating. Center Fab Melo, who was academically ineligible at the end of the season, could also head to the draft.

But, in typical Syracuse fashion, Jim Boeheim’s team will be reloaded with talent. Dematha (Md.) swingman Jerami Grant joins local product DaJuan Coleman and there’s still a possibility that highly-coveted blue-chip center Nerlens Noel could end up at Syracuse.

In this year’s NCAA tournament, the Owls lost to South Florida in the Round of 64, while Syracuse lost to Ohio State in the Elite Eight.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_