With one player injured and another suspended, it looks like former walk-on Matt Lyde-Cajuste may be called upon for fill-in duty. But is he ready?
Brandon Triche, Michael Carter-Williams, C.J. Fair, Baye Moussa Keita, Rakeem Christmas, Jerami Grant and Trevor Cooney. That's your "core" of Syracuse Orange players available Saturday when they visit the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Seven players. Three guards. Two big men. Two forwards.
What happens if one of them gets into foul trouble? What happens if two of them get into foul trouble?
What may happen is The Lyde-Cajustening. As in, notable playing time for walk-on-turned-scholarship player Matt Lyde-Cajuste.
"[Boeheim] came up to me a few days ago and he told me obviously, we’ve got guys that are injured and guys that are out for other reasons and that I’m going to have to be ready," Lyde-Cajuste said. "If he needs me I’ll have to be ready and do what I have to do."
The good news? Lyde-Cajuste is considered "the smart one" and is, according to Donna Ditota, "thickly muscled." So that's nice.
For his part-Cajuste, Lyde-Cajuste is just trying to keep a level-Cajuste head.
"Strength and physicality are extremely important. But intuition and basketball IQ can be more important than any of those traits. It's knowing what they’re most likely going to do in certain situations and being able beat guys to places that you imagine they’ll be."
"There are obviously some nerves there. But at the end of the day, I’ll have to remember it’s basketball. And coach wouldn’t put me out there if he didn’t feel that I was ready."