Syracuse won the war but lost the battle: forward Chris McCullough went down in the second half against Florida State with a knee injury. They don't know how bad it is; it's going to be evaluated on Monday.
His replacement may be Chinonso Obokoh; the 6-9 sophomore and native of Nigeria may be a thin reed if he's needed. He's only played 38 minutes all season and picked up four fouls in five minutes against Florida State.
In fairness to the kid, he was up against a huge front line, in Leonard Hamilton's tradition, but still.
Remember, Syracuse just recently confirmed that Dajuan Coleman would be out for the season. He was widely seen as an elite big man coming out of high school.
Jim Boeheim's rotation has suddenly shrunk. Against FSU, Michael Gbinijie played all 40 minutes, Trevor Cooney played 39, Kaleb Joseph 32 and Tyler Roberson had 32 off the bench.
McCullough had eight before he was hurt. Otherwise, Ron Patterson had nine and Obokoh five.
That puts the current rotation down to seven and Syracuse only got eight points there. Roberson did get nine rebounds.
Even if Gbinije pulls off the same sort of role that Mike Dunleavy did as a freshman, where he was as one-man bench in a six-man rotation, before he got mono anyway, without McCullough, Syracuse's talent takes a major hit.
There are still some scholarship players who could possibly pitch in - BJ Johnson, Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye - but neither has played much.
If McCullough is out for an extended period, it's really going to be tough for Syracuse.
The Orange could get a break on scheduling if McCullough can get back soon. They get Wake at home, Clemson away, BC and Miami at home, UNC away, Virginia Tech at home, then Pitt and BC away.
A lot of those are winnable without McCullough; UNC might be a stretch but the rest the 'Cuse could win if things go their way.
But it'd be easier with McCullough.