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Syracuse men’s basketball: John Bol Ajak will return to Orange, per report

The Orange retain some frontcourt depth

Syracuse v San Diego State Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One of the unique characteristics of the transfer portal, as many coaches have pointed out, is that you can still return to your original school if desired. And a Syracuse Orange men’s basketball player will do just that, as John Bol Ajak has reportedly taken his name out of the transfer portal and will return to Central New York, per’s Mike Waters.

Ajak was initially one of five Syracuse players to enter the transfer portal, alongside Robert Braswell (Charlotte), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon), Woody Newton (Oklahoma State), and Kadary Richmond (Seton Hall). He appeared in 10 games last year, primarily as a backup center, scoring just two points along with four rebounds in total last season.

Ajak’s return means that Syracuse gets some frontcourt depth back and someone who knows in some capacity how to play in the 2-3 zone. No matter what combination Jim Boeheim decides to go with, he’ll have two new starters on the wings of the zone. Bourama Sidibe’s health is still a potential question, so Ajak will be needed as another center option behind Jesse Edwards if necessary.

Ajak joins the returning Syracuse scholarship players for 2021-22, including Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Frank Anselem, Chaz Owens, Sidibe and Edwards. They’ll add transfers Symir Torrence (Marquette), Cole Swider (Villanova) and Jimmy Boeheim (Cornell). Five-star forward Benny Williams is also set to arrive as the team’s lone freshman recruit.