Now that Oshae Brissett has decided to remain in the NBA Draft the Syracuse Orange will see another large turnover in their starting line-up. Thanks to OrangeRay for pointing out that in 2019 the Orange will be replacing at least four starters for the third time in four seasons. The departures of Tyus Battle, Frank Howard, Brissett and Pascal Chukwu leaves Elijah Hughes as the only returner next year.
This follows the 2017-18 season when only Battle returned as a starter and the 2016-17 season when Syracuse had five new starters. Thankfully Syracuse is planning their trip to Italy in August because the extra practices and games will help to provide some early work for the new starting five to develop their chemistry.
Now we should note that the Orange bring back four other players who started games last season in Marek Dolezaj, Buddy Boeheim, Bourama Sidibe and Jalen Carey. This trio might not be new to the role but we know the 2-3 zone relies on effective communication and that will be something to watch for as we head towards November. Getting some time this summer before and during the Italy trip is certainly a boost that those other recent teams didn’t have.
This becomes even more important because the Orange will open the regular season by hosting the defending National Champion Virginia Cavaliers in their season opener. We’ll have plenty of time to debate next year’s starters and expectations, but early signs point to a Syracuse team that will rely more on perimeter shooting and will need some combination of players to step up to replace Brissett’s 7.5 rebounds per game.
We usually get some insights on the incoming Syracuse recruits when the team members of Boeheim Army work out with them. It will be curious to see their impressions of the five new Orange players: Quincy Guerrier, Brycen Goodnine, Joe Girard, Jon Bol-Ajak and Jessie Edwards. With so many new faces entering and opportunities available Syracuse basketball fans will have plenty to watch for this summer and we’ll certainly be keeping you updated here.