clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse basketball: Paschal Chukwu emerging for Orange

The 7-foot-2 big man has played well of late.

Syracuse v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

In the Syracuse Orange’s latest two outings — arguably the most challenging — Paschal Chuwku has put together two of his better performances in orange. The 7-foot-2 big man fell just one point shy of a double-double against Virginia, most notably hauling in 16 rebounds. Against Florida State he finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.

Perhaps what’s most remarkable though is Paschal’s free throw shooting. Since his double-double against Eastern Michigan, he’s shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe.

Maryland v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The junior big man is starting to look more comfortable on the offensive end to boot. Earlier in the season he was missing dunks. Against Florida State, Paschal had a raucous put back slam off an Oshae Brissett miss. Later in the game he caught the ball and finished with a reverse on the other side of the rim. While the Syracuse offense has looked slightly better of late and is now implementing motion sets, might it be time to get Paschal some more touches?

“I think he’s definitely getting better. His presence on defense is very important for us,” Jim Boeheim said on Monday’s ACC coaches teleconference, “We need him to move into better offensive situations.”

With Bourama Sidibe still being hampered by a knee injury, Syracuse has needed and will need Paschal to play well. While first year assistant Allen Griffin has brought the two big men along, it’s looking like Syracuse will have to operate without Bourama being fully healthy. That places even more importance on the development of Paschal.

“Yeah I think Allen’s done a great job with him and Bourama. It’s unfortunate that Bourama’s knee isn’t anywhere near 100 percent,” Boeheim finished.

We can’t be too sure what Syracuse will be able to get out of Bourama this season. If Paschal can keep playing the way he has in the last two contests and squeeze out some more offensive production, it would be a huge lift.

He’ll need to stay away from foul trouble and injury, though. Paschal just might be Syracuse’s most indispensable player right now.