Syracuse held its annual Media Day this afternoon at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center, and the event was highlighted by head coach Jim Boeheim's press conference. Here are five things we learned:
1. Gbinije might not start at point guard after all
Despite a report Tuesday that Michael Gbinije will start at point guard this season, Boeheim said he hasn't yet decided who's going to start. Last season, Gbinije played most of his minutes at small forward while Kaleb Joseph played the bulk of his minutes at point guard. But if Gbinije were to start at point guard this season, that would mean SU could also insert freshman Malachi Richardson into the starting lineup. In any scenario, Boeheim said that Gbinije will see at least some time at point guard in addition to playing both wing positions.
2. Coleman ready to go
After missing all of last season with a knee injury, DaJuan Coleman has been a full participant in practice so far this month, Boeheim said. The coach said that the big man has been rusty, but added that such rust is to be expected from a player who sat out for almost two full seasons.
Coleman figures to be perhaps the most crucial element to the Orange's success in 2015-16. If he can anchor the 2-3 zone at center and provide some low-post scoring, that would be an enormous boost for Syracuse.
3. Joseph improved
Boeheim said that Joseph wasn't "physically or mentally ready to play last season," adding that it was an almost "impossible" situation for the point guard to succeed in. But the point guard has added 16 pounds this season, prompting Boeheim to call it the biggest physical improvement that he's ever seen from a player.
Boeheim also said that the biggest surprise to him thus far in practice has been Joseph's improved shooting. The guard made only 20 percent of his 3-pointers last year, but Joseph could be a real in factor in SU's plan to shoot a significant amount of 3s this season.
4. Unsure of small-ball lineup usage
If Syracuse uses smaller lineups with a forward playing the five spot this season, that forward will be Tyler Lydon, Boeheim confirmed. But the coach is unsure of how often Syracuse will go to those lineups. He said it's to be determined for now, adding that the level of success those lineups elicit will determine how frequently the Orange use them.
5. Everyone to play
With only nine scholarship plays on the roster, all of them will see the court this season, including freshman guard Franklin Howard. In a crowded backcourt, Howard is seemingly the most likely to candidate to spend a significant amount of time on the bench. But Boeheim called him SU's most creative passer and said he'll play his share of minutes.