Syracuse, N.Y. — The term keeps coming up for Syracuse Orange men’s basketball sophomore Quincy Guerrier. The word ‘monster’ is repeated by him and teammates.
The season is still young, but through two games Guerrier leads Syracuse in scoring with 38 points. He’s posted two straight double-doubles already, a feat he didn’t accomplish in his freshman season. His 26 rebounds — nine of which have come on the offensive end — also lead the team.
“Right now I’m just trying to help my team the best way I can,” Guerrier said after Syracuse’s 75-45 win over Niagara. “Like Red [Autry] said, be a monster. Be physical, grab rebounds, make shots and bring energy.”
What’s impressive about Guerrier is his efficiency. He’s shot 16-22 from the floor and he’s averaging a rebound nearly every other minute.
“Quincy is a monster on the boards,” Marek Dolezaj said, who is now playing center with Bourama Sidibe sidelined. “He’s huge for us.”
Through two games, Guerrier has been Syracuse’s most consistent player. When asked why he’s been so steady when other teammates have looked out of rhythm due to lack of practice time, he suggests it’s his energy. Perhaps it’s easier to be consistent when your game is anchored around the paint, but there’s no denying the intensity Guerrier has brought in Syracuse’s first two games.
“It’s just about playing with energy,” Guerrier said. “There’s some stuff I was not doing well, but I think overall I was doing pretty good. Like I said, I’m just trying to help my team by running the floor, taking rebounds, making my open shots and be physical.”
Albeit against smaller opponents in Bryant and Niagara, Guerrier has showcased his strength around the rim. On Thursday night he even stepped out and connected on a three, his first of the season. Last year Jim Boeheim prodded at Guerrier, suggesting he might not make a three in the Hall of Fame coach’s lifetime. This year appears different, however, and it seems that the second year forward has earned his head coach’s trust.
“I think Quincy is just playing at a high level. He’s rebounding. He’s active,” Boeheim said post-game. “He can make 3s. I mean he made it tonight but he can make 3s. He makes them every day in practice. It’s just a matter of gaining confidence and he’ll get there.”
If Guerrier can step out and hit 3s, that’s a scary proposition for opposing defenses. He’s already a monster on the inside.
“He’s getting four offensive rebounds in 25 minutes and those are all baskets,” Boeheim said. “He’s really strong around the basket, finishing well. You couldn’t ask him to do anything more.”