Hal Luther, the Orange's strength and conditioning coach, says he sent every player a summer work out plan. He tested them as soon as they arrived on campus.
"I wanted to set the tone that this is for real," Luther says. "I think a lot of times guys will hear, 'Wer'e going to have a new strength program this year, whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to make sure when they came in, they knew it was for real."
Only 10 of 50 lacrosse players passed the test, which included gassers up and down the Carrier Dome field four times a rep in under 60 seconds. Luther says many threw up, causing Desko to wonder Luther's intention. But he pleaded with Desko to see him through.
When the team returned in the winter, 40 of the 50 players passed the run test.
"When we all came back, we did real well on the run test, which was real hard," Syracuse defenseman Kyle Guadagnolo says. "He demanded a lot from us and I think we did as best as we could, too."
Syracuse's four wins have been decided by one goal, two of them in overtime.
"They might get down but they're never out," Luther says. "They're coming. People around the country are talking about them. They're talking about the way it has changed."