Ends up we didn’t have to wait until the very end to find out if Oshae Brissett was returning to the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team after all. The sophomore forward announced that he’ll be staying in the NBA Draft, putting an end to his SU career after two seasons.
Syracuse will always be home❤️ .. pic.twitter.com/r8SozVoylY— Oshae Brissett (@Obrissy) May 21, 2019
Brissett’s original declaration was a bit of a surprise, but he impressed at the G League Elite Camp and earned himself an NBA Draft Combine invite as a result. He looked great the combine in Chicago too, apparently, and that performance gave rise to some mock draft inclusions and an idea that he could wind up selected in the late first or early second round. Seems that was what the Ontario native needed to make his decision — that, and/or a team has told him they’ll pick him.
After a promising freshman year at Syracuse, Brissett’s numbers dipped a bit in 2018-19 as he tried to emphasize his jump shot more. He scored 12.4 points per game with 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Brissett shot better from the field overall as a sophomore (39.3% vs. 35.4% freshman year), but worse from the free throw line and from three. If he can address those latter issues — and he may have already during various scouting opportunities this offseason — then the lack of finishing at the rim may not matter much to teams.
Oshae should slot in well as an athletic three-and-D guy in the NBA, so long as he’s shooting at a higher clip from outside. Though if he’s a second round pick, the work to get to the league obviously just begins with getting selected. There’s still quite a bit more to do to actually see NBA action (even ask many of the recent first round picks for Syracuse about how tough it is to break through).
Brissett’s departure will leave a pretty major hole for the Orange lineup in 2019-20, but also provide a potential reset from the offense of the last few years. We’ll get to that tomorrow, though.
In any case, congrats to Oshae on his decision and hope he does well in the NBA. The more success former Syracuse players have in the pros, the easier it is to recruit more talent, after all.