Robert Braswell — aka Big Bad Bobby Braswell — didn’t see the court a ton last year for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team given a veteran-laden roster and short rotation. But in 2019-20, that’s likely to change.
Despite all of the talk around incoming talent and some of the younger players that saw plenty of minutes last year, Braswell’s potential emergence could wind up setting the tone for Syracuse at forward. SU lost a scorer in Oshae Brissett, and other returning players that could potentially fit at the four or five aren’t necessarily offensive weapons just yet. That dynamic possibly opens an avenue for Braswell to become a much larger part of the rotation this coming year.
Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota spoke with Braswell and Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry for a story this week on that exact topic — and specifically how the player’s improved this offseason to be a bigger contributor. According to the piece, BBBB has added 10-12 pounds since the season ended, potentially putting him closer to the 210-pound mark. He also talks about his potential as a guy that can rebound and hit threes. If Syracuse even got 2-3 three-pointers and six rebounds per game from him, that would be nice boost to make up for part of Brissett’s skill set. If Braswell can finish at the rim too (something he mentions as well), it could even wind up being an improvement on the stat sheet, at least.
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“For the first couple practices he’s really stood out,” said SU assistant Adrian Autry, who coaches the forwards. “His conditioning is better. You can definitely tell he’s gotten bigger and stronger and you can see it in his play as far as him being more consistent shooting. And he’s probably in the best shape of all the forwards right now.”
The team finally took off for Italy. In one game against an Italian club, Bouie got tangled up with an opponent while battling for a rebound. The Italian player pointed at Bouie and said something in Italian. “I take a step toward him and Dale shoves me out of the way,’’ Bouie recalled. “He said ‘You have to go through me.’ I’m standing there thinking, ‘I didn’t know you even liked me.’
Hendrix, a redshirt freshman, is out indefinitely as the program seeks additional opinions for his rehabilitation. “We’re still waiting,” Babers said on Monday. “We’re getting medical opinions on it. ... We’ve got to see. Right now he’s just not right and we’re hoping and wishing the best for him.”
Syracuse won 10 games last year in Dino Babers’ third season, and new quarterback Tommy DeVito played enough last season to avoid being overwhelmed early. Safety Andre Cisco is one of the most talented defensive backs in the country. Syracuse was one of six Power 5 teams that averaged more than 40 points per game last season, along with Oklahoma, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and West Virginia.
No. 21, Syracuse: DeVito has patiently waited his turn. Syracuse does return one of the best defensive-end duos in the country in Kendall Coleman and Alton Robinson, along with freshman All-American safety Andre Cisco and Lou Groza winner Andre Szmyt. Babers has worked tirelessly to upgrade the talent in this program, and headed into Year 4, all signs are pointing toward a Syracuse team that is ready to be a consistent winner.
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