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Syracuse basketball preseason player profiles: Buddy Boeheim

Buddy Boeheim looks to have a solid second year at Syracuse.

Morehead State at Syracuse Basketball Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This week we continue along with our Syracuse Orange basketball preseason player profiles. Today, we take a look at Buddy Boeheim. In case you missed earlier profiles, check out Jesse Edwards, Elijah Hughes, Brycen Goodine, and Howard Washington by clicking the links under their names.

St. Bonaventure at Syracuse Basketball Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Guard

Class: Sophomore

Vitals: 6-foot-6, 195 lbs

Stats: 2018-19: 6.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game. Boeheim shot 35.3 percent from three as a freshman and was a 78.8 percent free throw shooter.

How he fits: Buddy is primed for a solid sophomore season. With all of the outside threats this team has, he should have plenty of opportunities to show off his range. If Italy showed us anything about what’s in store for him, he’ll end up as a volume 3-point shooter this year.

Buddy will help space the floor tremendously for the other four players on the court.

Colgate at Syracuse Basketball Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy did a decent job last year of pump faking on a few occasions and then pulling up for a mid-range jumper. That could become a much bigger part of his game, especially if teams start to play him tight on the perimeter.

If he is anywhere close to as deadly from the outside as he was last year (especially in conference play), it will put a heavy burden on defenses, especially when he is surrounded by guys like Elijah Hughes, Joe Girard III, Brycen Goodine and Marek Dolezaj, who all look like legit outside threats.

Ceiling: The ceiling for Buddy is fairly high. He should thrive on offense, given his ability to shoot the ball at a high level.

If he can develop a bit more dribble penetration and court vision, he could end up as a legit star in the ACC. I still think he is a year or two away from being a truly dominant offensive player, but I could easily see him making a most improved list for the ACC this year.

Floor: My biggest concern for Buddy is on the defensive side of the ball. While he improved as last season went on, he was still very slow to rotate at the top of the zone at times. And let’s not forget how badly he was schooled in the NCAA Tournament game by Baylor’s shifty guards. He looked flat-footed and just not quick enough defensively.

Baylor v Syracuse Basketball Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

If he wants to play the top of the zone and be successful, he needs to be faster. His reaction times seemed a bit slow and that needs to change. If it doesn’t, we could see a very porous defense this year that has a lot of trouble stopping penetration. And that is a recipe for disaster in the zone.

Without improvement, Buddy could be a liability at the top of the zone against faster teams, which will offset his offensive talents.

Other areas of interest: Buddy grew another inch in the past year and is up to 6-foot-6 now.