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Syracuse basketball lineup possibilities for 2016-2017

Syracuse is about as deep as the sea floor this year. How can we make sense of it all?

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to believe a program in the wake of an NCAA investigation and scholarship reduction can put itself in position to be as talented (on paper) and as deep as Syracuse is this year, but that’s just what Jim Boeheim and his assistant have been able to do. Boeheim can go as deep as 10 this season if he so chooses, but we all know how Boeheim do and Boeheim gonna Boeheim.

Personally, I have a feeling Syracuse will go as deep as nine this season with Matthew Moyer bearing the brunt of the hall of famer’s short bench. It might be in Moyer’s best interest to redshirt to fully heal from injury and to save a year of eligibility during a season he’s unlikely to see much PT behind a loaded front-court. But that’s a story for another day.

Taurean Thompson represents the ninth man who is a shoo-in to get cut from the rotation once ACC play rolls around. From the eight men remaining on the roster, you can pick and choose who starts. We conducted this experiment and came up with a plethora of different choices, but perhaps that’s neither here nor there. Or maybe we’re here because we’re not all there. How does that saying go? Anyway.

Perhaps what’s most important lies within the different looks Syracuse can throw at opponents with its depth. Which lineups are best to attack specific situations? As it turns out you can play a maximum of five guys at a time in basketball. We have to spell that out just in case Georgetown folk are reading a more layered blog like TNIAAM. With that in mind, let’s dive in.

Starting Five: John Gillon, Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson, Dajuan Coleman.

Syracuse will start four, count ‘em, four seniors this year. This has already been discussed so let’s move on.

D, D, D, Defense: That’s the actual chant, not the unrefined Hoya fans trying to pronounce the word after a period of catatonia longer than Georgetown’s last Sweet 16 appearance.

Frank Howard, Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson, Paschal Chukwu.

Man, that’s a lot of length across the board with nobody in the zone being shorter than 6-foot-5. That lineup is sure to disrupt passing lanes, force turnovers and rebound with the best of them even in a 2-3 zone.

Run and Gun: John Gillon, Tyus Battle, Andrew White, Tyler Roberson, Tyler Lydon.

Syracuse’s best lineup last season was its “small ball” lineup with Lydon at the five. Gillon and Battle can push tempo with all three forwards able to fill the lane. White and Lydon are more than capable of spotting up in transition and knocking down the long ball.

Press Break: John Gillon, Frank Howard, Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Paschal Chukwu.

I don’t think this lineup will get much run, but maybe when Louisville comes to town it’s worth a look. Gillon and Howard can handle the ball with Lydon and White able to catch and pass over the defense. Add Chukwu at the five for pressure release lobs at the rim.

Half Court Set: Frank Howard, Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyler Roberson, Dajuan Coleman.

What lineup gives you the best offense in the half-court against man or zone? Syracuse’s best passer runs the offense (read: screen and roll with Roberson) with White and Lydon on wings and Coleman available for a dump down into the low-block.


What did I miss, Orange fans? Is there another lineup that should be looked at? Would you swap out any of the aforementioned players to better suit a specific lineup? Is Georgetown even more idiotic than I suggested? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.