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Syracuse Orange Basketball 2016-2017 Player Previews: Franklin Howard

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Is Frank Howard due for a breakout sophomore campaign?

Middle Tennessee v Syracuse Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Each day leading up to Orange Madness we will be releasing our player previews for the 2016-2017 Syracuse basketball season. Today’s player preview: Frank Howard.

To follow up from yesterday’s John Gillon preview, the point guard position remains as the biggest question mark heading into the 2016-2017 Syracuse basketball season. It isn’t that Syracuse can’t have success at the point, it’s just that it has yet to be proven.

Frank Howard played well in limited action last year serving as backup point guard to Michael Gbinije. Howard’s numbers from last season weren’t very telling as he averaged 1.6 points per game on 28.6 percent shooting, including 10.5 percent from deep. That reads awful, but if you watched Howard play you know that he had a solid command of the point for a freshman. He also played heady defense and demonstrated sound understanding of where to be in the 2-3 zone.

Howard did have a sterling assist to turnover ratio of 2.0 and averaged 0.5 steals per game. His height and length in the top of the zone will be of great benefit for Syracuse which, needless to say, will help deflect passes and contest jump-shots. His length aids his capacity to close out on shooters. Offensively, Howard has a quick first step. He’s a great penetrator and with his biggest strength being his passing ability.

The challenge for Howard will be to keep the defense honest by knocking down the occasional jumper. He looks to have worked diligently on his jump-shot in the offseason — his form alone is much improved. See his summer workout tape below.

Expect Howard to develop into a reliable sophomore point guard with he and Gillon splitting equal time at the position.