Vitals: 6-foot-9, 195 lbs
Stats: As a freshman in 2018-19, Braswell averaged 2.2 points and 0.8 rebounds per game in limited action. He shot 66.7 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three.
How he fits: Braswell is the prototypical Syracuse wing. Tall, thin, athletic, and can jump out of the gym. He didn’t play a lot last year as he was in a log jam behind Oshae Brissett, Elijah Hughes, and Marek Dolezaj at forward. However, in his limited minutes he showed a solid understanding of the fundamentals and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
This season he’s in a similar position with a lot of other options at forward. While Brissett declared for the NBA, both Hughes and Dolezaj return and are expected to eat up minutes at forward, alongside freshmen Quincy Guerrier.
But there’s a pretty major caveat here: where does Dolezaj get his minutes? As mentioned in our previous position preview of the centers, it is possible that Marek sees minutes at the five this year, especially if it turns out that Bourama Sidibe has any injury relapses or foul issues.
Add in two freshmen centers with zero ACC experience, and it’s much easier to visualize Dolezaj anchoring the zone, especially after Boeheim’s comments at ACC Media Day.
“We won’t know that until we start playing games,” Boeheim said of Dolezaj playing in the middle. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays center sometimes this year. We’re pretty flexible with where guys are going to play and we’ll see how it goes. He can play some at center.”
Should that situation arise, Braswell has a great opportunity to carve out some quality playing time at forward, and that could be a good thing for Syracuse basketball. Not only does he have great size and athletic ability on the wing, but he’s also another quality outside shooting option that can help to stretch opposing defenses.
Ceiling: Put him on the floor alongside Buddy Boeheim, Hughes, Brycen Goodine and Dolezaj and you’ve got a lineup where every position can shoot from the perimeter. In today’s 3-point heavy game, that is a distinct advantage.
If Braswell gets the minutes, he could have a productive year. His ceiling is probably about 10 points and 4-5 rebounds in that situation, but that might be a longshot. He was incredibly efficient in limited minutes last year, and if he can continue that into this season, he will be a huge plus to an already deep team.
Floor: As mentioned, playing time is the biggest concern for Braswell. He’s at best third in the pecking order at forward, and quite possibly if Dolezaj plays mostly on the wing.
If Guerrier explodes on the scene, Braswell could be an afterthought again this season and see minutes only in garbage time. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it is a distinct possibility.
Other Areas of Interest: Braswell gained 10 pounds in the off season to get to 195. He’s still very thin, but that bulk will certainly help in the physical ACC schedule.