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Syracuse basketball: Symir Torrence improved jumpshot in offseason

Syracuse native Symir Torrence looks for a bigger role in his senior season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 ACC Tournament - Duke v Syracuse Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Symir Torrence always wanted to play basketball at Syracuse. The 6-foot-3 point guard grew up in the city, playing his high school basketball at Syracuse Academy of Science. He was All CNY as a sophomore, putting up 21.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game before transferring to Vermont Academy for his junior and senior seasons.

Jim Boeheim eventually offered him a scholarship at Syracuse basketball’s elite camp. But rather than join a then crowded backcourt in Central New York, the former top-100 recruit saw a better path toward playing time at Marquette. He flirted with the idea of moving to back the 2020 class but in January of 2019, Torrence committed to play for Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette.

“I just felt more comfortable going to Marquette at the time,” Torrence said. “I didn’t have an extra year in high school so I just wanted to go somewhere that I thought was going to get me more playing time and I thought it was Marquette at the time.”

An eventual coaching change at Marquette in 2021 encouraged Torrence to hit the transfer portal and after Kadary Richmond left Syracuse for Seton Hall, Torrence decided to come home and play for the hometown team just five minutes from where he grew up.

“I always dreamed about this and the dream has finally come true. I always get emotional talking on it. It just means a lot, not only to me but to my mom. To have her in the crowd just seeing me with the orange on my chest and seeing my other family. They can just see me as a little kid—what I talked about—to see my dream come true. It’s been a blessing,” Torrence said.

Syracuse v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Torrence—personable and quick to flash a smile—played 13.1 minutes per game as a backup point guard a season ago where he averaged an efficient 2.6 points, 2.9 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 steals. Per 40 minutes, those numbers translate to 7.9 points, 9.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. His outside shooting was limited, going 3-8 from beyond the arc, so that was the focal point in the offseason.

Torrence reworked his form with Gerry McNamara and spent his summer in the Melo Center.

“Day in and day out with Coach G Mac,” A thankful Torrence began, speaking of his offseason work. “A lot of managers came to help me out. I appreciate them. I was just focused on that one thing that wasn’t really good or excellent in my game and that was shooting. Just getting up as many shots as I could every day and it’s come along.”

Torrence fixed his shooting form by keeping his arm aligned to his right side rather than shooting from his middle body. He reworked his shooting motion to keep his form straight and fluid as to help eliminate missing shots to the left or right. He said he wants to be more consistent with his shot and thinks the daily work he put in over the summer will lead to more confidence in his shooting.

But at the end of the day, Torrence just wants to do what he can to help the team get back into the winning category.

“I just want to win. The work is always going to show. I think this group has done a phenomenal job throughout the summer and throughout the preseason being in the gym on their own time and doing the little things that’s going to put us in a winning ability,” He said.

2022 Men’s ACC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Torrence begins his fourth season of college basketball this fall and his second at Syracuse. He could still utilize a fifth year due to the NCAA granting student-athletes an additional covid year thanks to the difficulties of the 2020-21 season.

Torrence is first allowing himself to see how the season goes, but the idea of playing a fifth season remains a distinct possibility.

“You just never know. I can have the best year of my life and a deal could come up for me. So just keeping it to a 50-50 chance right now,” He said.