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Syracuse men’s basketball 2017-18 player previews: Bourama Sidibe

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How big of a role will Sidibe play?

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bourama Sidibe, a 6-foot-10 forward from New Jersey, enters his freshman season with the Syracuse Orange. Sidibe’s game is unknown to a lot of Syracuse fans. He flew under the radar in his recruitment, but the Orange got a good one.

Position: Forward

Height: 6’10”

Weight: 205

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Newark, N.J.

High School: St. Benedict's Prep

Sidibe has the potential to be a dominant big man down the road for the Orange — especially as a shot-blocker in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. But for now, it’ll be interesting to see his adjustment from St. Benedict’s to Syracuse.

St. Benedict’s head coach Mark Taylor told me last season that Sidibe will be ready to play at Syracuse — similar to former SU guard Tyler Ennis who came from Taylor’s program.

Sidibe was able to dominate at St. Benedict’s, but it’s hard to judge big men in high school. The transition to high level D-I ball is something that comes easier to some, and every case is different. Bourama was a double-double machine at St. Benedict’s. He often finished games in the 17-point, 15-rebound range as Benedict’s also dominated virtually everyone.

Sidibe could find himself starting some games for the Orange this season. As long as he stays out of foul trouble, he could be a force down low defensively for Syracuse. His offensive game will need some work, but Syracuse won’t be looking for him to score right away. They’ll need him to be a rim protector, which he can be.

Sidibe will battle with Paschal Chuwku for time in the middle of the zone. Chukwu, who will enter his second season as an eligible player for the Orange, struggled in year one. He looked uncomfortable and uncoordinated in the zone at times. But standing at 7-foot-2, his length can make up for that quickly. Offensively he was a non-factor.

Watching Sidibe in the two exhibitions — the first one being tonight — will give us a better understanding of how comfortable he is in Boeheim’s zone. The potential and size is there, but how well will his game transfer?