During the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball summer trip to Italy last August, freshman guard Brycen Goodine showed flashes of what he’s capable of on the hardwood. Goodine, a consensus top-100 recruit in his class, played well as the first guard off the bench in that trip.
The 6-foot-3 guard was able to score with relative ease in those four games over the summer. He played aggressive and got his teammates involved, too. But since the season started at Syracuse, Goodine has had to adjust to the level of competition, the Syracuse system and an elongated basketball schedule thanks to that Italy trip.
The end of semester break has been kind to Goodine, as the freshman acknowledged he finally got the chance to rest his tired legs, citing that the Syracuse team hasn’t had much of a break since the summer.
Still, Goodine said he’s been playing well in practice. He just has to continue to work, improve and perform when it’s game time.
“I just gotta keep working. Keep trying to get better every day, every time I step out there. And just basically do my job when I get out there,” Goodine said.
Against Niagara (and his former BABC AAU teammate, Shandon Brown), Goodine played 11 minutes. Those were his first minutes of game action since Georgia Tech on Dec. 7.
In total, Goodine finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds and a steal but he went 0-4 from the floor against the Purple Eagles. For a player who averaged 21.5 point per game as a high school senior in the NESPAC, missing shots is not something that Goodine is accustomed to.
“I’m used to making shots,” Goodine said. “I gotta adjust and do the little things to try to get myself going. And hopefully if I’m doing that, my shots fall and it’ll be even better.”
The offense has been an adjustment for Goodine while his best efforts have come on the defensive side of the ball in his freshman season.
With 11:52 remaining in the second half against Niagara, Goodine deflected a pass from a Purple Eagles’ player from the perimeter of the 2-3 zone. Niagara retained the ball, but later in that possession he earned a steal and almost converted an and-one on the other end. That play yielded two claps, a smile and high-five of encouragement from his head coach, but it was still one that Jim Boeheim though he was capable of finishing.
“Brycen is still a work in progress. We gotta try to get him better,” Boeheim said following the game. “I’m disappointed. He got in the open court and he couldn’t finish. Things I know he can do. His defense was good. He made some good defensive plays down there but he’s better than this. We just gotta keep working with him and try to get him better.”
Goodine is still adjusting to the college game, which is normal for freshmen. Still, he just might be the most athletic guard (and most capable defender) Syracuse has at its disposal. He’s done a nice job of being in position and keeping defenders in front.
Sophomore point guard Howard Washington missed the last two games with swelling in his knee. Boeheim said he expects Washington to be back at full speed, and that he doesn’t expect Jalen Carey back this season. Should the swelling in Washington’s knee resurface, Goodine could be key moving forward as Syracuse enters ACC play with limited depth.
Update: We’ll have to see if this impacts Goodine’s playing time
Add another injury to the list for Syracuse Basketball. Jim Boeheim tells me in our @ESPNSyracuse conversation that freshman Brycen Goodine broke his nose in practice this week. They’ll fit him with a mask and see if he can play through it.— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) January 2, 2020