This Saturday passed with some unfortunate news as the highly recruited Jordan Tucker spurned the Syracuse Orange and decided to commit to the Duke Blue Devils.
The White Plains, N.Y. native received an offer back in 2014 from the Orange, but the recent success of Blue Devils jumping to the NBA was too much to pass up on for the 6-foot-7 forward. Syracuse was looking forward to the possible addition of Tucker in the lineup, but his decision to go south has left SU with an interesting situation at the small forward position.
Tucker would have been a great addition to the “new look” Orange next year, but don’t lose hope just yet. Matthew Moyer and Oshae Brissett could make some noise come next winter.
At arguably the most “concerned” position for the Orange, Moyer and Brissett are being asked to fill some massive shoes due to Andrew White III’s departure. White led Syracuse in scoring this past season, and both Moyer and Brissett have yet to play a real collegiate game.
Moyer is coming off his redshirt season where he got to sit back and learn from a four-year veteran who’s seen it all. Moyer came to Syracuse as the 74th ranked player in the nation, but White’s experience created an opportunity for Moyer to learn instead of wasting a year.
Moyer’s size will benefit him in coach Jim Boeheim’s offense. He stands at 6-foot-8, as he uses his length to shift through opposing defenses with his versatility. He could be moved to a stretch-four role, but when he’s playing the small forward position he’ll have the ability to look over his defender and make plays for his teammates and himself.
A more developed long range shot would do wonders for Moyer, but time to learn and work in the gym this past season hopefully resulted in a sharpshooter for coach Boeheim to work with.
We may not have seen much of Moyer, but Syracuse should be hopeful for what their “unknown” weapon may be capable of.
The next option at small forward is Oshae Brissett, the freshman out of Canada. Brissett was recently named the Canadian player of the year, a feat that is sure to get the Carrier Dome natives thinking positive for next winter.
Similar to Moyer, Brissett comes into Syracuse with a lack of collegiate experience, so getting thrown right into the fire may result in a few mishaps early on. However, Brissett’s athleticism will do wonders for the Orange in transition next year.
Similar to Moyer, Brissett’s shooting capabilities aren't relished as much as his ability to score at the rim. But coach Boeheim is sure to improve the youngsters ability to stroke the three-ball as it’ll do wonders for the Orange’s offense.
Obviously the addition of Tucker to this roster would have improved Syracuse’s depth, but the Orange shouldn't worry too much as Moyer and Brissett will make up for their losses.
The loss of Tucker to the Blue Devils may still be a bitter thought for Orange fans, but just imagine what a win over Tucker and the likely favored Duke Blue Devils would feel like next winter.