The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team brings a lot of uncertainty in 2019-20, and that could wind up expounded by whether or not Oshae Brissett chooses to return after declaring that he’d test the NBA Draft waters. At least according to Sports Illustrated, his decision is among the most important in college basketball when it comes to dictating team fates.
That’s a reasonable opinion, but I do wonder just how much his return takes Syracuse from point A (bubble team) to point B (8-seed or better). Brissett’s not guaranteed to improve on some of the shooting woes from last year, and with a guard-heavy rotation, he could wind up starved for the ball if the Orange wind up relying more on outside shooting. Granted, if he can finish at the rim, then there’s a huge upside to him coming back. We just haven’t seen that with consistency just yet.
Obviously would like to see him back in an SU uniform for 2019-20, because Syracuse will definitely be better in some capacity with him in the lineup. Just curious how much it truly alters the ceiling for the Orange come March, though, and if it’s truly one of the most important decisions out there.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
Brissett was Syracuse’s best rebounder but saw his scoring production decline during his sophomore season. Another year at ‘Cuse could help his draft stock if he can get back to his freshman form and would be a huge help as Jim Boeheim works to get more out of his frontcourt with his son Buddy leading the returners at guard.
SU was not particularly good this year at defending the 3-point shot. The Orange finished 8th in the conference in 3-point shooting defense (opponents shot 33.4 percent) and 87th nationally in 3-point shooting defense (opponents shot 32.9 percent). This seems to be a somewhat cyclical thing for the Orange. SU defended the 3 well in 2018 and 2016, but struggled to guard the 3-point line in 2019, 2017 and 2015.
Syracuse playing its best defense since Joel White-led unit of 2011 (US Lacrosse Magazine)
“If you look at our 1-on-1 defense [Saturday], against Torain there were times we didn’t even have to slide to him,” Porter said. “That’s incredibly impressive, and a lot of times he was covered by a short stick, which is even more impressive. The communication’s been there. The 1-on-1’s been there. The slides have been pretty crisp, so as a goalie I definitely have no complaints.”
Dungey undoubtedly has an uphill climb to make a roster. Teams typically carry no more than three quarterbacks on their roster. “Dungey is such a tremendous competitor,” Babers said. “It’s hard for me to believe there are two or three guys that can outcompete him for anything.”
As Knutson’s final season with No. 30 Syracuse (13-12, 5-9 Atlantic Coast) winds down, Knutson has used the shot to not only rejuvenate a tennis career that almost ended before college, but also become the top tennis player for SU. “It’s not like someday I’m going to wake up and my forehand is going to be better than my backhand,” Knutson said. “No matter how much I practice, that’s never going to happen.”