While we expected Tyus Battle to depart the Syracuse Orange this offseason, Oshae Brissett’s decision to stay in the NBA Draft pool was a bit of a surprise. With both players leaving, plus Frank Howard’s graduation, that means three of the Orange’s four leading scorers won’t be back this coming year. Add Paschal Chukwu to that group, and you lose four of the top six.
For as much as that sounds daunting — and it is — there’s still opportunities there for Syracuse to fix what’s been ailing them on offense in recent years. That’s not exclusively due to the play of any of the exiting players. However, with a team that’s now heavy on outside shooting (Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes, Joe Girard), there’s at least a good shot to remake this group in a new image.
Still, it doesn’t stop SU from winding up “losers” at the NBA Draft deadline, as Sports Illustrated says. By way of the departing talent, sure. And same goes for the other teams listed there like Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Michigan, Oregon, Auburn and others. But talent churn happens and Syracuse is typically better situated to deal with it than most. We’ll see if that’s the case this time around. I’m cautiously optimistic the returns on the 2019-20 squad are going to be better than we assume (with a thin margin for error, however).
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
College Basketball’s Winners and Losers of 2019’s NBA Draft Decisions (Sports Illustrated)
Loser: Syracuse; Tyus Battle wasted little time announcing he would enter, and stay in, the NBA draft following his junior season, but the case of big man Oshae Brissett was more cloudy for the Orange. His eventual decision to go pro leaves Syracuse with just one returning starter, senior Elijah Hughes, and plenty of question marks heading into 2019–20. A five-man recruiting class and returnees Marek Dolezaj, Buddy Boeheim, Jalen Carey and Bourama Sidibe will see plenty of opportunities next season.
A conversation with SU coach Jim Boeheim (7 News Watertown)
Jim Boeheim made his annual visit to Moby Dick Charters in Henderson Harbor for a day of fishing Wednesday. That’s where 7 News sportscaster Mel Busler caught up with the veteran Syracuse University basketball coach. You can hear their conversation in the video. They talk about the disappointing end to the SU team’s last season and its prospects for the coming one.
“Syracuse basketball is as big as it gets around here,” Mirabito said. “So to get Syracuse basketball up here in the middle of the summer when there’s not all that much going on, sports-wise, that’s great. It’ll be televised nationally (by ESPN). To expose people to our campus and to this building is an amazing opportunity for us.”
NBA Scout 1: He can’t shoot. His form is very inconsistent. He doesn’t have one thing he does well right now. He’s an average ball handler, passer and in other areas. Maybe he can get a two-way contract or will be a G League guy who goes 50 to 60 (draft range).
Again, there were some missed opportunities. They got blitzed early against Syracuse and couldn’t claw their way back. They were also upset by Wake Forest for the second straight year, and they ran into a buzzsaw in a blowout bowl loss to Texas A&M. But they backed up the previous year’s growth, produced another four draftees, and, better yet, signed their second straight top-30 class.
Gabriela Knutson named All-American for 2nd-straight season (Daily Orange)