Now that the season is officially over, it's time to look at the draft prospects of the departing Orange players. Check back for updates as the 2013 NBA Draft draws closer.
Player: Brandon Triche
Position: Shooting guard
Weight: 210 lbs.
2012-13 Stats: 13.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.3 SPG
Scouting Report: Surprising absolutely no one anywhere, Brandon Triche will be in the 2013 NBA Draft. Of course, it's not a surprise because he's a senior and the NCAA says he can't play basketball at Syracuse any more. Triche's senior campaign was a microcosm of his entire career. He started every single game, was a key part of a great season and had some stand out individual performances (23 pts @ Louisville, 29 pts against Seton Hall, 11 pts/8 ast against Michigan). And yet, Bradon's final season in orange seemed...meh. His inability to consistently perform at a high level is likely the biggest hurdle to his NBA dreams.
Pros: Size. While not as tall as his Orange back court mate Michael Carter-Williams, Triche still is of a stature to qualify as a big point guard in the NBA. True, he played shooting guard his final three seasons with Syracuse, but that was more out of necessity than anything else. I've always felt that point guard was Brandon's natural position. Once opponents figured out that MCW was actually a good basketball player, Triche took over some of the ball handling. And though, Triche's "job" was to score on offense, the duo performed much more like a pair of point guards than a 1 and 2 guard.
That being said, Triche's value for an NBA team stems from his ability to play both guards spots. He's the consummate "tweener"; big for a point guard but a bit undersized for an NBA shooting guard. I think where Triche differs from most players in his situation is that he has the skills to play both for brief stretches.
Cons: For a guy who started every single game since he set foot on campus and finished his career as the all-time winningest player in program history, Triche never seemed quite comfortable during his time in Orange. Perhaps it was the fact that he was a local kid. Perhaps it was the fact that both his uncle and cousin were big-name Syracuse players (drink!). For whatever reason, Triche the younger never blossomed into the powerhouse player everyone thought he could/would be. Jim Boeheim said himself that Brandon doesn't think he's half as good as he really is.
If there's one thing that all NBA players need, it's confidence. It's turned players who probably don't really belong into 10+ year veterans. And the lack of it has undercut the careers of players who should, by all accounts, have dominated the game. If Brandon doesn't believe he belongs in the League, his journey is over before it even begins.
Pro Comparison: Why not Chris Duhon, second round pick, 8-year NBA veteran and sometimes starter? Or, hell, why not Brandon's own kin, Jason Hart, who had his own near decade long run in the League? Triche's college numbers compare favorably to both of them and he has a distinct size advantage as well.
Draft Prospects: As far apart as the DraftExpress and NBADraft.net projections are, I think either one could end up being correct. Triche has the size and talent to play in the League for a long time as a role player. Does he have the heart? Does he believe he belongs? Triche's road to the NBA will be the long, bumpy one. No one's going to let him hang around on the end of the bench until he finds himself. If he's going to make it, he's going to need to come out swinging.