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How have Syracuse graduate transfers performed vs. other offseason targets?

I’d say quite well.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White drives to the basket against Pittsburgh in the first half of Saturday’s game. Syracuse won 77-66.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew that Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije would be graduating following the 2015-16 season, and after Malachi Richardson’s remarkable NCAA Tournament — his departure seemed inevitable, too.

Frank Howard, who saw some time in the tournament last season and played well, would return, and Tyus Battle — who is more of a two-guard — would be entering his freshman year at Syracuse.

But the Orange still needed more. SU needed depth, and preferably a scorer that could shoot it from behind-the-arc, much like Malachi did.

Andrew White filled those needs, but he wasn’t the Orange’s only target this past offseason.

Syracuse also needed a point guard — and got one in John Gillon. Former Michigan guard Spike Albrecht was another option, but things seemed to work out just how they were supposed to.

Grant Mullins was, at one point, on SU’s radar, too.

NCAA Basketball: Cornell at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White drives to the basket against Cornell earlier this season. The Orange won 80-56.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew White, Syracuse — 16.1 ppg, 4,1 rpg, 1.4 apg

It’d be hard to imagine where Syracuse (10-6, 2-1) would be this season without White. He leads the team in scoring, three-pointers made, field goals made and minutes played. His 24 steals ranks third-best on the team, as well.

He virtually replaced Richardson, who scored 13.4 points per game last season. White’s more efficient, shooting almost five percent higher from the floor than Richardson. Malachi did have the ability to get to basket — which he showed a lot of late in the year. White’s biggest downfall is he’s strictly a shooter. He hasn’t proven that he can get to the basket as well as Richardson could. However, he makes up for it from behind-the-arc.

He’s having the type of season most Syracuse fans expected. Leading the team in scoring, over 16 points per game and - when he’s hot - he’s deadly from three.

Grant Mullins, California — 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.8 apg

Mullins was the top Syracuse target in the offseason at one point. The former Columbia guard never visited SU’s campus, and instead committed to Cal on April 27.

As for this season with California, Mullins is having a solid year (see his stats above). His season-high is 20 points against Arizona State on January 1. He’s scored in double-figures seven times this season (Andrew White has in 15 of 16 games). Mullins has also been held scoreless twice. And he’s also sat out twice this season.

Mullins is shooting over 46 percent from deep and averaging just under 27.5 minutes per game.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon gestures to the crowd following a 3-pointer against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

John Gillon, Syracuse — 9.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 5.1 apg

Gillon is beginning to lead the Syracuse offense to what most expected before the season. He’s the quarterback, the floor general and the leader of a bunch of highly-skilled athletes, to use Andrew White’s words from earlier this season.

He’s been getting better and better lately, and showed his full potential against Pittsburgh. He finished with 18 points (six 3-pointers) and 11 assists, which tied his season-high. He’s scored in double-figures eight times this season, and has played 79 minutes in the last two games.

It’s safe to say taking Gillon over Albrecht was the right move from the SU staff. His energy has given the Orange a spark the last two games, which have been SU’s best two games/wins all year.

Spike Albrecht, Purdue — 2.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.4 asp

Albrecht has played in eight games this season for the Boilermakers, and missed seven due to a reoccurring back injury that began when he was at Michigan. His season-high in points is seven, which came on opening night against McNeese State. The 22 minutes he played that night also is a season-high, and he’s hit that number once more this season.

Many worried about Albrecht’s durability coming off of his back injury at Michigan, and it looks like Syracuse made the right choice passing on his talents. When the Orange landed John Gillon on Sunday, May 1, Albrecht was scheduled to visit later that day. He cancelled his visit after the Orange coaching staff accepted Gillon’s commitment, who visited the previous two days.

***

We’re almost at the midway point in the regular season, and if you compare what Andrew White has done vs. Mullins and Gillon vs. Albrecht thus far — the Orange got the better player in each case.