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Syracuse’s Dajuan Coleman dealing with knee trouble

You have to feel for the fifth-year senior.

NCAA Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Syracuse
Syracuse center Dajuan Coleman shoots a free throw against Monmouth during the first half at the Carrier Dome. The Orange won, 71-50.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It appears Syracuse Orange center/forward Dajuan Coleman’s knee trouble isn’t behind him after all.

Jim Boeheim hinted at Coleman having reoccurring knee issues this season at his last press conference, following Syracuse’s win over Pittsburgh. But now, we’re starting to see it firsthand.

Early in Tuesday’s game against the Virginia Tech Hokies, Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson each picked up two early fouls. Coleman was nowhere to be found. He continued to sit in his same seat on the bench — in between assistants Mike Hopkins and Gerry McNamara.

It all started against Boston College. Syracuse lost 96-81, and Coleman didn’t play. At the time, Boeheim said it was due to having Taurean Thompson as an offensive threat in the game - which is true. There was no mention of any injury at the time.

Coleman then played one minute against Miami and was held out the last two games against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

After the win over Miami, Boeheim commented on the matter.

“We gotta hopefully get Dajuan (back) at some point,” Boeheim said. “His knees have been good. But some games they’re bad and some days they’re not. And it’s hard to know. He wants to play. But I can only go by what I see.”

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Syracuse vs North Carolina
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim and center Dajuan Coleman (32) talk in the first half against North Carolina in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship semi-final game at NRG Stadium.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Up until recently, Coleman had a solid season. He’s right around 6.5 points and five rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 15 points against North Florida earlier this year. And played a season-high 30 minutes in SU’s loss at Wisconsin.

This also comes after a good end of the 2015-16 season for Coleman. The numbers don’t scream it, but he was effective in the 2-3 zone during SU’s Final Four run. He had his first, and only, double-double of the season against Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament. He averaged 18.8 minutes per game in the final six contests of the season.

Coleman used this offseason to refine his skills, not improve his health, for the first time in four years. He’s looked better, but to those who have had a knee injury/surgery, it typically stays with you forever.

This will definitely be something to monitor moving forward, as Coleman looks to end his Syracuse career on a positive note.