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Syracuse Basketball Season Preview Roundtable: Who's Michael Gbinije's Wingman?

Basketball season begins this Friday and in preparation, the TNIAAM crew got around a round table, drank Bathtub IPA and talked about the upcoming basketball season. Today's topic: Number 2.

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I think the title is pretty self explanatory, but in case you've decided to just click around the internet Wikipedia-style, hi there! This is a Syracuse blog that is pretending that football exists in an existential plane away from reality really likes Syracuse Orange basketball! We're also a big fan of Michael Gbinije, who is looking to take on the role of "senior leader who scores all the points," but could use a little help. So a bunch of us chimed in on who we thought would be a wingman for Silent G and earn his own cool nickname.

Steve HallerIt'll be the Silent G and Cooney show, or at least that's how it will be billed. I expect them to lean more on the young guns as the season wears on and they get their legs under them, but off the bat, it's going to be perimeter oriented around those two.

Kenny Lacy: I believe freshman Malachi Richardson will end up being Silent G's wing man. Richardson has all the tools to be the elite scorer that this team needs. He can shoot, drive, and create his own shot. If this Syracuse team is going to rely on its "Live by the Three" mentality then Richardson will have many opportunities to prove his worth and show that he can be relied on when needed.

Andy Pregler: I really think it will be one of the young guns. Richardson (in a very very very small sample size) showed off why he can really become something of an X-factor. He's got the ability to shoot, drive, and occupy defenders. The key will be patience balanced with increased responsibility: something I think Boeheim will do very well. My money is on him seeing some struggles in our early big games, but figuring it out by the Georgetown game and becoming a force to be reckoned with.

James Szuba: I think Cooney will be a great compliment to Gbinije. I look for those two to lead the team scoring with Gbinije being the front-runner in that category. While I think Richardson, Roberson and Coleman all have the ability to put up points, I look for the fifth-year guys to be the leaders of this team and that will relfect in the scoring column.

Andrew Carey: Well I want to say Roberson for this question, but I just dont think he has developed enough offense yet. We know he can rebound with the best in college basketball, but I'll be curious to see if he's improved upon his offensive game, both on the block and mid range jumpers. I think that Cooney will have a good seaon based solely on the fact that guys like RIchardson, Lydon, Gbinije, and maybe Joseph will be threats from deep. It will give him more ability to drive to the basket and score off the bounce.

Kevin Wall: I think Trevor Cooney will have a very good Senior season. With additional shooters around him, Cooney should find more room to operate this season. Without all the pressure to be the only 3-pt threat, I expect to see a more well-rounded offensive game to go along with very solid defense at the top of the zone.

Michael Burke: I'm skeptical that there's going to be one guy who's the clear No. 2 option. Cooney could turn into that player, and so could Richardson. And maybe Coleman has an extraordinary comeback and it ends up being him. But what I'm expecting is that Gbinije will be the clear alpha dog with a pretty considerable supporting cast.

Joe Leathersich: I gotta agree with people here and say it'll be Richardson. We all know he's a threat from the arc but he's also incredibly athletic so I imagine we'll see him take it to the bucket a few times. I don't think Boeheim would be heading toward this heavy 3-point strategy he had any reservations about Richardson so that tells me he's going to be something special this year.

Claudia Ceva: I have a feeling that Cooney will have a chip on his shoulder after last year and will harness that into positivity for his game. I could definitely see him and Silent G being the go-to guys this season. That would be a HUGE step in the right direction for this team.

John Cassillo: While you might want to go with Cooney and his veteran leadership, relegating him to a role as "terrifying three-point specialist" could actually be a blessing (a la James Southerland). That means Richardson is the one to step up and be the consistent co-threat within (and beyond a bit as well) the arc to help out Silent G. Expect the young frosh to assert himself more as the year goes on.

Dan LyonsTyler Roberson has flown under the radar a bit, but he's flashed some big time potential at times, and I expect him to be incredibly important this season. As noted after the Le Moyne scrimmage, SU is going to need help on the boards. Roberson might be our best pound-for-pound guy in that department. His interior scoring should mesh well with all of the outside shooting as well. If the guy that went for 19/10 and 16/9 in the two Duke games shows up on a regular basis, he could be in for a special year.

Brad Pilatzke: I think Tyler Roberson should be able to excel with this year's group of players. If Gbinije, Cooney and Richardson can stretch the defense, Roberson should have plenty of room to operate inside. Roberson averaged 8 point & 7 rebounds per game last year. He could be a double-double machine this year.

Matt Constas: Tyler Roberson showed sparks of what he could do last season and I think this is a big year for him. He is somebody I have always been excited about based on raw skill and potential. Now is the time to put things in action. Hopefully with the help of more shooters taking the attention of opposing defenses, Roberson will have a lot of space to work and even impose his will on the offensive glass at times. So far, he has not shown consistency in shot creation for himself or others, but heading into his third year the Orange will need him to develop into a productive offensive player. He could be their biggest post presence this season.

Brian Tahmosh: Trever Cooney is going to be the #2 option in this offense, and his style should complement Gbinije's really well this year. Boeheim has already said this team is going to chuck a lot of threes, and my hope is that with Lydon and Richardson contributing, Cooney will be able to get a few more open looks since he won't be the only perimeter scorer. Hopefully, Boeheim will find ways to get Cooney some rest for the first time in three years, but even with a few extra minutes on the pine, he'll still be at least second in minutes and probably second in scoring.


So who do you guys think will step up and be our Number 2. (Ok, I'm done, I'm sorry.)