Syracuse Orange basketball: really good at making sure that after a high (like beating Louisville on the road) you come right back down. Donno Ditota is reporting that Bourama Sidibe’s knee continues to cause pain for the freshman center. If the current remedy does not provide relief to the season long injury, he will need surgery before the end of the season.
I definitely suggest reading Ditota’s article as it it gives far more details on Sidibe’s situation straight from both the freshman and team doctor Brad Pike. The TL;DR version is Sidibe’s knee has a lot going on and he’s far too young to risk complicating his long-term health by playing through the pain.
From a pure basketball perspective away from long-term injury speculation, this leaves ‘Cuse in a helluva bind. The front court was going to be a depth worry all season long and without Sidibe earlier this year, the Orange were able to cover for short periods of time with either a three guard look or Marek Dolezaj at center. Now that Howard Washington is done for the year, the Orange do not have that security blanket option and are down to Matthew Moyer, Pascal Chukwu and Dolezaj to fill 2 spots for 40 minutes a night into the conference and perhaps NCAA tournament.
At this point, the Orange literally cannot afford another injury. Any one of these six going down guarantees a walk-on sees some minutes in a meaningful game. It also means you’re going to see teams be far more aggressive with Syracuse. With little depth, how Boeheim handles foul trouble will be an every game to-do at from here on out. (We got a taste of this versus Lousiville and it worked out alright without Sidibe.)
So let’s hope for some health here. Sidibe is not 100-percent out, but it’s not looking good. If he’s out, does the Orange make the big dance? Or has the team proven it can handle business with just six? Let us know in the comments.