With a week between Syracuse Orange men’s basketball regular season games, this is the perfect time to pull back the curtain and find something new to discuss. We know how much all of you love analytics so I pulled up Sports-Reference to take a closer look at some interesting Orange notes.*
(*Only looking at scholarship players here. No offense to the walk-ons. It’s not that your efforts aren’t appreciated but you kind of mess up the narrative)
As you’d probably guess, Tyus Battle ranks pretty highly when it comes to all of the offensive numbers. Per 100 possessions Battle has the highest scoring average at 28.6 points and an offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) of 112.4 which is good for fourth in that category. Who’s ahead of Tyus? Well you’d probably be surprised to learn it’s Robert Braswell (113.9), Marek Dolezaj (118.3) and Paschal Chukwu who leads the way at 124.9.
Right behind Battle in scoring average is Braswell at 28.2, Elijah Hughes at 25.1 and Buddy Boeheim at 24.4. Battle would put up the most shots at 22.4 with Buddy right behind at 22.1 including 16.1 3-point attempts. When it comes to getting to the foul line Braswell leads the way with 13 attempts — well ahead of Battle’s 9.1.
A few weeks ago we asked your help with this question
So have we decided on a nickname for Robert Braswell yet?— NunesMagician.com (@NunesMagician) February 15, 2019
Maybe we have out answer and it should be “Buckets Bobby Braswell”?
When we look at the Per 100 Possessions numbers for Defensive Rating, lower is better as it’s points allowed per 100. Right there at the top of the list is Braswell at 87.2. Next closest is Bourama Sidibe (92.0), followed by Chukwu (93.8) and Dolezaj (96.). Braswell also tops the steals category with 6.5 per 100 possessions almost doubling Jalen Carey’s 3.3. Hmmm... maybe that nickname needs to be “Barricade Bobby Braswell” instead.
As you’d expect Chukwu (16.0/4.8) and Sidibe (15.8/3.3) dominate the rebounds and blocks although Sidibe’s 14 fouls per 100 possessions would limit his ability to pad his stats.
So what does all this mean? The assumed departure of Battle means there will be lots of shots to go around and if given the opportunity Boeheim and Hughes seem more than willing to take them. Chukwu’s departure means the Orange will need others to pick up the rebounding slack and his position might be the toughest for Syracuse to fill right away next season.
And what about Robert “Bobby Buckets/ Barricade Bobby” Braswell? Look we’re not trying to tell you that Braswell should be playing the most minutes but his early numbers show that Syracuse might have found a potential key contributor late in last spring’s recruiting cycle. Remember that Braswell picked up the scholarship that was marked for Darius Bazley and no one knew what to expect. But he’s flashed some potential that could lead him to be an outstanding zone defender.
On the other hand maybe you shouldn’t be surprised by this because Braswell was a champion high jumper in high school, and since we all know that track and field athletes are the best of the best maybe it’s just a matter of time for those gifts to shine through.