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TNIAAM roundtable: Who starts for Syracuse men’s basketball in 2021-22?

The annual roundtable makes its return.

Syracuse v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The 2020-21 Syracuse Orange men’s basketball season is still quite a ways off, but with the roster picture coming into focus, we can start to take on a more accurate view of what the team will look like come fall.

We’re in peak offseason content mode for basketball anyhow and we’re desperate to keep you coming around in our feeble attempt to stay relevant. So as we do every year, the TNIAAM staff gathered around to discuss who we think will start for Jim Boeheim in the upcoming season.

Perhaps it’s more about who finishes the game, but the starting five is still a topic worth discussing nonetheless.

Cornell v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Christian De Guzman: Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Benny Williams, Jimmy Boeheim, Bourama Sidibe

The backcourt is not a question, especially with Kadary Richmond off to Seton Hall. The other three positions is another story. I know our favorite word around the site regarding the basketball program is “athleticism.” You need that on the wings and I think Benny and Jimmy just edge that over Swider. With that said, you’d think that Jesse Edwards should start at center. While I think that should be the case, Coach Boeheim will probably use Sidibe a la the DaJuan Coleman role in 2015-16.

Kevin Wall: Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Benny Williams, Cole Swider, Bourama Sidibe

Starting five will be Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim at the guards. Bourama Sidibe will be the starting center and Benny Williams and Cole Swider will be the forwards. At this point I think it’s really only the frontcourt that’s in doubt and that’s no offense to Symir Torrance. If Jim Boeheim didn’t replace Girard last year, he’s not taking him out this year. In that regard Boeheim (the HC) has said he values floor spacing and Swider gives him that at the 4. I think WIlliams’ athleticism is needed with this line-up so he has the edge at the SF for that reason. Jimmy Boeheim (the player) is the 6th man and sees minutes at both forward spots.

John Cassillo: Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Jimmy Boeheim, Benny Williams, Bourama Sidibe

I’d love to pretend that Joe Girard will be challenged by Symir Torrence. But a) that was a rarity when a better point guard was on the roster and b) TBD how much better Torrence is compared to Girard. With that out of the way, I doubt Jimmy’s showing up to be a backup and think Cole Swider winds up getting a lot of minutes anyway. Sidibe is the starting center, but Jesse Edwards probably winds up with more minutes.

James Szuba: Symir Torrence (just kidding), Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Jimmy Boeheim, Benny Williams, Bourama Sidibe

The starting backcourt odds opened at 1:1 for Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim, which is one way of saying unless something unusual happens we should expect the same starting backcourt for the last two seasons to remain. The forward position is where things get interesting. There’s a case to be made for all three wings, but let’s go with incoming five-star freshman Benny Williams — who boasts a different skillset than Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider — and the oldest Boeheim brother on the opposite wing given his versatile offensive skillset. Expect fifth-year senior Bourama Sidibe to start from the outset. There’s a scenario where Jesse Edwards earns the starting five position but for now it’s Sidibe’s spot to lose.


What about you? Who do you think starts for Syracuse next season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and join in on the discussion.