The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team had its 2020-2021 season end in the Sweet 16 less than three weeks ago, but as is the case in college basketball, the attention immediately shifts to the coaching carousel and the transfer portal.
With the NCAA allowing a one-time transfer for all sports, the transfer portal has seen an influx of entrants. Syracuse has had players enter as Robert Braswell, Woody Newton, John Bol Ajak and Kadary Richmond announced their intention to transfer. The Orange have since added Symir Torrence from Marquette and Cole Swider from Villanova.
Syracuse fans were most upset with the loss of Richmond, who announced his decision transfer to Seton Hall. Richmond averaged 6.3 points, 3.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in just 21.0 minutes off the bench. He was fourth in the ACC in steals.
Boeheim called into ESPN radio on Thursday to discuss a mélange of topics. Among them were the idea that Syracuse was just another ACC school, Syracuse’s tournament runs, the transfer portal and even Adam Weitsman’s (and Boeheim’s) horse in the Kentucky Derby.
Boeheim addressed Richmond’s transfer and what occurred at Syracuse.
“I think he played more minutes this year than I should’ve played him because of conditioning and because of all that. There’s been much made about that he said he was restricted. He was never restricted here on the court in anything except three point shooting, when he was shooting 10% from the three. I told him not to take threes. That was the only restriction put on him this year,” Boeheim said.
Richmond finished the season shooting 33.3% from beyond the arc in limited attempts. He shot 7-21 from deep on the year. Notably, Richmond was 3-3 in the NCAA Tournament from outside. He was shooting 22.2% from three prior to the big dance.
“In the (NCAA) Tournament, he was not restricted. He took three — he happened to make all three — but I never told him not to shoot in the tournament. And he wouldn’t have been told not to shoot next year. That was the only restriction that was ever put on Kadary. To clear the air on that,” Boeheim continued.
Richmond said he wanted to play where he’d have less constraints, telling The Athletic, “I just felt like I wanted to go somewhere I could play without restrictions and have a chance to showcase my game.”
Richmond wanted more playing time and with Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim slated to return at both guard positions, carving out more minutes would be difficult.
“I think he looked at the situation. He knew Joe was coming back. He knew Buddy was coming back,” Boeheim said. “I think he felt that it would be tough, but maybe not. That’s what I see. He committed to someplace, I think Seton Hall has five guards. So somebody is going to suffer down there. I don’t know who, but somebody is. We have three. And it would’ve been three here next year.”
Syracuse added central New York native Torrence from Marquette, a former top 100 recruit, in Richmond’s wake. Torrence is a 6-foot-3 guard who figures to help fill the void left by Richmond, but he played sparingly averaging just 13.0 minutes per game at Marquette last season.
Boeheim said Syracuse will look for another player in transfer portal. With Marek Dolezaj and Alan Griffin going pro, Syracuse will return at most 10 scholarship players at current (should Quincy Guerrier go pro as well that number would be 9).
Former Cornell G/F Jimmy Boeheim is still in transfer portal.
“Everyone talks about Jimmy. Jimmy, we’ll wait and see who’s here,” Jim Boeheim said.
Boeheim finished on the topic of recruiting, saying he talks to every recruit that Syracuse offers. He made the distinction that there’s one assistant who operates as the primary recruiter, but that he’s involved throughout the process, as are the other assistant coaches. Boeheim said he’s always on the first phone call to recruits.
“The idea that I only am there to close is ludicrous,” Said Boeheim.