With today's news that guard Kaleb Joseph would be transferring from the Syracuse Orange basketball program, SU's scholarship situation is once again adjusted. Joseph was a sophomore, meaning he was on the roster through at least the 2017-18 season. Syracuse loses two additional scholarship players -- Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney -- due to graduation this year, but we were prepared for those already.
Also, in case you forgot (unlikely), the Orange "only" lose five more scholarships over the next three seasons.
With all of that in mind, and assuming no one else leaves the program this offseason, what are we looking at going forward?
2016-17: 9 players
As of right now, seven scholarship players will return for the Orange, including five of the seven rotation players from this year's Final Four team. In addition to those two, Tyus Battle and Matthew Moyer also join in the fall, to bring that total to nine. Next year's team has experience and a lot of size, allowing for some long lineups and some unconventional setups that could push Tyler Lydon to the 3 (a spot he could potentially excel, since it allows him to stick around the perimeter).
On top of those nine, the team has been eyeing Colombia grad transfer Grant Mullins, and recruit Taurean Thompson is also an option to make it a three-man class of 2016. With two spots available, Syracuse can sign both without any issue, since that gets them up to 11 -- right at the suspension-adjusted cap. They would not be able to go above that, however, as they must take a two-scholarship hit per year for the next two years, per the NCAA.
2017-18: 6 players
Keep in mind that number would assume that Thompson doesn't arrive (Mullins only has a year anyway). However, it also assumes that no one leaves for the NBA yet again. The Orange would sport an experienced roster of options, including potential three-year starters/key contributors Malachi Richardson, Tyler Lydon and Frank Howard. Paschal Chuwkwu, Tyus Battle and Matthew Moyer would all return significant minutes for SU as well.
Syracuse has a host of players they're pursuing for 2017, and with somewhere between two and five spots to fill, they'll have their pick of talent. Top options include Jordan Tucker, Michael Porter, Trevon Duval and Quade Green -- all of whom play in the backcourt, where more help is needed.
2018-19: 6 players
Zero changes to the squad for Syracuse, again assuming no one leaves the program prior to exhausting all eligibility. You get a senior-heavy lineup, with two accomplished juniors also along for the ride. Potentially Thompson is in his third year as well, and the team's added a few of the names above from the 2017 class to create a deep group.
Recruiting options for 2018 are just getting sorted out, but the team already has an offer out to Louis King, a small forward. And they appear high on power forward Silvio De Sousa. More names to come, for sure.
2019-20: 2 players
The potential experienced senior class departs, with Moyer and Battle taking the helm, if we assume everyone sticks around the full time. No telling what the lineup could look like at this point. Hell, Moyer and Battle could both be off to the NBA already by this point.
This would be Syracuse's first season at a full 13 scholarships again. The world is their oyster.
As you can see, Joseph's departure doesn't necessarily cripple the Orange, especially since they weren't utilizing him. But it does manage to free up a scholarship that could be used right away to combat some potential depth issues down the line. With Jim Boeheim's smaller rotations, it becomes increasingly likely underclassmen continue to declare early. This also makes it more and more imperative to hit on nearly every recruiting decision.
Year-by-year breakdown is below, and again, only accounts for players that are on the roster or signed.
|Tyus Battle, G||Tyus Battle, G||Tyus Battle, G||Tyus Battle, G|
|Paschal Chukwu, F||Paschal Chukwu, F||Paschal Chukwu, F||Matthew Moyer, F|
|DaJuan Coleman, F||Frank Howard, G||Frank Howard, G|
|Frank Howard, G||Tyler Lydon, F||Tyler Lydon, F|
|Tyler Lydon, F||Matthew Moyer, F||Matthew Moyer, F|
|Matthew Moyer, F||Malachi Richardson, G||Malachi Richardson, G|
|Chinonso Obokoh, F|
|Malachi Richardson, G|
|Tyler Roberson, F|