Tyus Battle may be the name in the headlines after his heroics against the Georgetown Hoyas, but Oshae Brissett’s recent play has helped propel the Syracuse Orange during their five-game winning streak.
Brissett’s athleticism and versatility on offense is what has made him a household name in under two years, but there is a certain aspect to his game that has really helped Syracuse’s struggling offense this year: offensive rebounds.
With the lack of consistent shooting, the Orange really struggle to get easy shots on the offensive end, and will take any easy scoring opportunities where they can get them. Good things seem to happen when Syracuse gets the ball inside, rather than settling for contested threes late in the shot clock. However, Brissett has been an animal on the glass during this winning streak, as he has cleaned up his teammates’ misses and turned them into baskets of his own.
The sophomore forward is averaging 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 on the offensive end, during the five-game winning streak. Brissett is 19th in the ACC in offensive rebounding percentage to boot, per Ken Pom. His length and strong hands helps him when battling a stronger opponent, but what separates Brissett from other players on the roster is that he’s able to jump right back up and finish inside.
To go along with his 8.8 rebounds during this five-game stretch, Brissett is also averaging 16.6 points per game, a point over his season average. Brissett has struggled to shoot the long ball this year (28 percent), so it’s important for him to live inside the paint since it’s where he succeeds the most. It takes an elite defender to slow down Brissett when he takes the ball inside off the dribble, but it’s even harder to stop him off of an offensive rebound without fouling. He may be down from last year’s free throw percentage (71 percent compared to 79 percent), but Syracuse will take any and all opportunities to get some “free” points this year.
The Orange need Brissett to be a dominant rebounder due to their centers struggling to clean up the glass this year. Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe are averaging a combined 8.8 rebounds per game, a low number for two players that are taller than most of their opponents. Brissett’s fearless effort on the glass on both ends of the floor helps make up for their centers’ faults.
Syracuse needs Brissett to keep this aggressive playstyle going on both ends of the floor if they want to keep extending this winning streak. If Brissett’s rebounding capabilities are able to rub off on his teammates, then this team could really be able to make some noise in the coming weeks.