FanPost

Grant Coming Back Is More Important Than Ennis

Now that Tyler Ennis has announced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, this may seem like its coming off as sour grapes, but in my opinion, Jerami Grant coming back is more important to Syracuse's success in the 2014-2015 than Tyler Ennis returning would have been. The major reasons? Depth & the experience of that depth. This is not to take anything away from Tyler; he was an exceptional point guard for this team this year. However, even with Tyler's departure, Syracuse will have four scholarship guards on the roster in Gbinije, Cooney, Patterson & Kaleb Joseph. Cooney saw starter's minutes all year long and Gbinije saw about 15 minutes per game. Gbinije and Joseph will most likely platoon at the point guard spot unless one of them shows they are ready to handle the job full time. Patterson played sparingly but showed flashes. Will Syracuse be as good at the point guard position? No, but with the guards on the roster, they should be able to cover the point guard responsibilities serviceably.

If Grant leaves, however, the forward position is devoid of any significant playing experience. There would only be three "true" forwards on the roster in Roberson. McCullough & B.J. Johnson (Gbinije & Christmas are not true forwards and I'll address them later). Roberson played in only 20 games and only 8 minutes per game in those games and shot under 30% from the floor. Johnson played in half as many games and played 5 minutes a game and shot 25% from the floor. McCullough comes in highly rated and may be the most prepared to contribute between the three of them, but the lack of depth and experience would be concerning. Could Gbinije play some SF? Yes, but I've always argued that his length is a plus on the top line of the zone and a liability of the back of line the zone because he's an exceptionally long guard but has pedestrian length for a forward in Boehiem's zone. (For example Gbinije's wingspan is 6'6" and Tyler Roberson's is 7'1") Could Christmas play some PF? Yes, but his stats this past season proved that he is markedly better playing center than PF. As a PF he has trouble closing out on shooters on the wings and isn't as much of a shot blocking threat. If Grant leaves, Syracuse would lose both starting forwards because of Fair graduating, so losing both forwards would hurt more than losing just the point guard, albeit it a damn good one.

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