While people outside of Syracuse may not have heard about it, the Syracuse Orange quietly brought in some quality first-year talent this year. They aren't the big-name recruits who release their commitment on national television, but these are talented players who have an opportunity to develop into real impact players in the near future.
The most notable newcomer the Orange will be sending out on the court this year is Oshae Brissett, the most recent Canadian Player of the Year. Due to the departures from last year's team, the Orange are giving Brissett a unique chance to step up and secure an impact role from day one.
Weight: 210 lbs
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario
High School: Findlay Prep/Athlete Institute Prep
Brissett had a memorable season last year where he saw trophies and box scores at nearly every turn. He was named the 2017 Biosteel All-Canadian High School Player of the Year, a feat that is as impressive as it gets for a high schooler playing in Canada. And it was well deserved. From scoring 20 points in the 2017 All-Canadian BioSteel Basketball Game, to dropping 31 against Cardinal Newman High School, Brissett had a year to remember. The question is: will Brissett be able to have that same kind of success in the "south" this winter in Syracuse?
That's a lot of hype for someone who has yet to even play a preseason game yet, but Brissett has the potential to showcase he can be that kind of player. Brisset's athleticism is the first thing you notice when you watch him play — doesn't matter if it's pickup or an all-star game. His quick first step allows his elite athleticism to be put on display around the rim.
The explosive burst is exactly what the Orange need when they're looking for easy looks in transition and the half court. His main flaw is his inconsistent shooting stroke, but everyone said that about Tyus Battle before he became a clutch three point shooter.
His sheer size alone makes Brissett a dynamic asset for coach Jim Boeheim to use on defense. Passing/driving the ball in the paint won't be something for opposing teams to look forward too due to Brisket's length and quality defending skills. He is a leaper, so making highlights won't be a problem on either side of the court. Brissett's leaping ability will allow him to terrorize the glass, bringing in defensive rebounds and creating second chance opportunities on the offensive glass. The talent is there for Brissett to be the player the Orange want him to be, and know he can be.
Brissett is going to miss the veteran leadership from last year's team, but this is a great opportunity for him to be thrown into the fire from day one. He's going to be given a chance to play right away, but it's up to him whether he's able to thrive in it or watch his golden opportunity slip away.
With Battle and Frank Howard doing most of the ball handling, look for Brissett to be a dynamic weapon on for both guards to locate. Whether slashing or attacking off the dribble, Brissett is going to have an easy time getting buckets at the rim, but he may struggle to get going from beyond the arc. It's going to be a season of learning for Brissett, but this is a perfect place for him to thrive during the beginning stages of his career.
Stat Prediction: 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists