Most people won’t fault the large majority of Syracuse Orange basketball fans that are looking towards the 2022-23 season. Jim Boeheim gave the public a brief glimpse of what that season could look like yesterday. The Orange head coach took questions from fans on his weekly Thursday night show on Cuse Sports Talk, and Boeheim revealed that two or three freshman will be in the starting lineup in all likelihood.
"They'll be 2-3 freshman starting next year probably unless something goes haywire and I think all 5 freshman will play"— Cuse Sports Talk (@CuseSportsTalk_) January 28, 2022
Jim Boeheim on what he expects next years team to look like pic.twitter.com/m8rzzvmrPf
For a refresher, Syracuse brings in five freshmen for the 2022-23 season, a stark contrast to the lone freshman in Benny Williams this season. Those freshmen are Maliq Brown, Chris Bunch, Peter Carey, Quadir Copeland and Justin Taylor. The returners that Boeheim mentions in the clip above are Joe Girard, Symir Torrence, Benny Williams, Frank Anselem and Jesse Edwards.
That starts to make you wonder who would step up to the starting lineup. From a first glance, it seems like the only obvious hole that the Orange need to fill is one of the wing positions. That would mean one of either Brown and Bunch, the forwards of the recruiting class, would immediately start. The question is who the other starting freshmen would be. The locked-in starters for next year are probably Girard and Edwards with Anselem as the backup center and Carey as the third option in the middle of the zone.
But what about Torrence and Williams? If Boeheim is correct and at least two freshmen play with the starters next year, who is on the bench? Does Williams fail to improve enough for Boeheim, leaving the way for both Brown and Bunch to start? Does Torrence still come off the bench like this season, which would either leave Copeland as another point guard who could take primary ball-handling duties off Girard. The other option is Taylor at the two with Girard at the one, creating a similar dynamic that JG3 has with Buddy Boeheim.
The most positive thing about this development is that Coach Boeheim said that all five freshmen will be important parts of the team. While that might not mean that Syracuse plays 10 guys a game, the Orange, for the first time in a while, have the option to go deep into their bench. Depth issues have plagued the current Syracuse team, so the options that next season’s team appear to have will be a welcome change for Orange fans.
One of the other big clips that turned a few heads among the Syracuse faithful were Boeheim’s comments about Benny Williams. The head coach has been critical about his performance in games and in practice, which has lead to decreased playing time in Syracuse’s most recent games. But it seems like the lone Orange freshman is improving.
"Today was the best day he's had in practice.... And he knew it."— Cuse Sports Talk (@CuseSportsTalk_) January 28, 2022
Coach Boeheim discussed Benny Williams' development on tonight's Q&A pic.twitter.com/5CKWJhy9Wd
Orange fans have been impressed with Williams’ attitude throughout the season and many are excited to see how high the ceiling is for his talent. Syracuse fans have been very vocal about the freshman seeing more playing time, and it seems like the Orange faithful may get their wish soon.
What do you guys think about the potential starting lineups next season? And what do you guys think about Boeheim’s comments on Williams? Sound off in the comments below.