As for the impact this will have on Syracuse Orange basketball, Riley and Murphy's departure puts more pressure on the big-man incumbents Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita. For Melo, he has to survive his court date for a driving incident earlier this year. If Billy Edelin, Gerry McNamara, and Eric Devendorf were given multiple chances by the Syracuse court system, then Melo will get the same. Additionally, newcomer Rakeem Christmas will have to provide Rick Jackson-esque defense on the back line of the Syracuse zone.
Overall, the two departures don't hurt initially, but if there are injuries sustained throughout the 2011-2012 fight, the body blows may add up to a knockout of the SU basketball season.