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Syracuse Basketball: Breaking Down the Orange's Scholarship Situation Through 2020

Let's do this again.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

For what felt like the 100th time since March, Syracuse Twitter came close to breaking Monday morning. This time, it was because five-star Class of 2016 recruit Tyus Battle announced his commitment to play for the Orange.

For SU, getting Battle is huge. Syracuse's 2016-17 team now has a chance to be special. But with his commitment, a scholarship situation that was already difficult to understand just got even messier.

In March, as part of NCAA sanctions levied against the basketball program, SU was stripped of three scholarships per season for four years. During the penalty, the Orange will be able to carry only 10 scholarship players, rather than the typical 13.

As of right now, SU has 11 players on scholarship. That's not an issue yet, since Syracuse is currently appealing the sanctions and can choose to begin the scholarship penalty during the 2016-17 season. But Battle's commitment means the Orange is projected to also have 11 players on scholarship during that season. And if Syracuse doesn't win its appeal, that could be an issue.

For now, we'll assume SU loses its appeal and doesn't get any scholarships back. How can the team make room for both Battle and fellow 2016 recruit Matthew Moyer? Let's delve into that and more as we look at Syracuse's scholarship situation from the 2016-17 season through the 2019-20 season:


Players expected to be on scholarship:

  1. Tyus Battle
  2. Paschal Chukwu
  3. DaJuan Coleman
  4. Moustapha Diagne
  5. Franklin Howard
  6. Kaleb Joseph
  7. Tyler Lydon
  8. Matthew Moyer
  9. Chinonso Obokoh
  10. Malachi Richardson
  11. Tyler Roberson

If Syracuse wants to have scholarships available for both Battle and Moyer, one of the other players listed above will have to leave after this season. Of course, that means there must either be a transfer or an early departure for the NBA.

Obokoh would seem like the most likely candidate to transfer. While his former AAU coach told the Daily Orange on Sunday that Obokoh has "no intentions whatsoever" of transferring, we'll see if that changes in a year. Between Chukwu, Coleman, Diagne and Roberson, SU will have quite the crop of big men on its 2016-17 roster. If Obokoh isn't going to see the floor, it might make sense for him to transfer.

Some have speculated that point guard Kaleb Joseph might also be a potential candidate to transfer. If Joseph isn't much better this season than he was as a freshman, that could become increasingly more likely. Especially since Battle, who's listed as a shooting guard, could end up seeing the bulk of his minutes at point guard. But if Joseph follows his dreadful freshman campaign with a solid sophomore season, he should be able to secure a long-term spot in the rotation.

It's also worth noting that DaJuan Coleman, who is expected to graduate from SU next spring, could take advantage of the NCAA's graduate transfer rule, which allows players to transfer and play immediately at another school.

Malachi Richardson, meanwhile, would be smart to consider leaving for the NBA following the 2015-16 season. Richardson has a considerable amount of developing to do, but so does Chris McCullough, and that didn't stop an NBA team from taking him in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.


Players expected to be on scholarship:

  1. Tyus Battle
  2. Paschal Chukwu
  3. Moustapha Diagne
  4. Franklin Howard
  5. Kaleb Joseph
  6. Tyler Lydon
  7. Matthew Moyer
  8. Malachi Richardson
We've already covered the fact that a player must leave early following the 2015-16 season to make room for Battle. How many scholarships Syracuse has for the Class of 2017 will depend largely on which player it is that ends up leaving next spring.

If it's Richardson leaving for the NBA or Joseph transferring, then Syracuse will have three scholarships available. That's because Coleman, Obokoh and Roberson are all scheduled to come off the books following the 2016-17 season, which would free up three spots for Class of 2017 players.

If, however, Obokoh transfers after next season, then Syracuse will have only two scholarships available, since that means Richardson and Joseph will have likely both stayed.

If both Obokoh and one of either Richardson or Joseph leave, SU would have an extra scholarship to potentially use on the Class of 2016. If the Orange were to indeed use that scholarship on a 2016 recruit, it wouldn't have a third to use on the Class of 2017.

But if players were to transfer or depart early for the NBA following the 2016-17 season, that would also free up scholarships for recruits in the 2017 class.

So far, Syracuse has already made offers to quite a few of those recruits, including small forward Michael Porter, ranked No. 2 in the class by both ESPN and Rivals.

Players expected to be on scholarship:

  1. Tyus Battle
  2. Paschal Chukwu
  3. Moustapha Diagne
  4. Franklin Howard
  5. Tyler Lydon
  6. Matthew Moyer
  7. Malachi Richardson
One way or another, it's probably safe to assume that Syracuse will have 10 players on scholarship during the 2017-18 season. Of those players, Kaleb Joseph will likely be the only one playing out his final season of eligibility. So assuming Joseph doesn't transfer and get replaced by a younger player prior to 2018, SU will have at least one scholarship for a player in the Class of 2018.

And again, if other players transfer or leave for the NBA following the 2017-18 season, more spots would open up.


Players expected to be on scholarship:

  1. Tyus Battle
  2. Matthew Moyer
Of the players currently on Syracuse's roster, five of them -- the four incoming freshmen and Chukwu -- are scheduled to play out their final seasons in 2018-19, assuming none of them redshirt.

As has been established, Richardson could very well leave early for the NBA. But Chukwu, Diagne, Howard and Lydon are all expected to be four-year players. And if they all do stay at SU through 2019, the Orange will have at least four scholarships to use on the Class of 2019. The other six spots will theoretically be filled by Battle, Moyer and four players in other recruiting classes. But, once more, any of those players could also leave after the 2018-19 season, freeing up extra spots.

Syracuse Scholarship Players
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Tyus Battle Tyus Battle Tyus Battle Tyus Battle
Paschal Chukwu Paschal Chukwu Paschal Chukwu Matthew Moyer
DaJuan Coleman Moustapha Diagne Moustapha Diagne
Moustapha Diagne Franklin Howard Franklin Howard
Franklin Howard Kaleb Joseph Tyler Lydon
Kaleb Joseph Tyler Lydon Matthew Moyer
Tyler Lydon Matthew Moyer Malachi Richardson
Matthew Moyer Malachi Richardson
Chinonso Obokoh
Malachi Richardson