The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will return guards Joe Girard and Symir Torrence as well as forward Benny Williams, Jim Boeheim said in a Cameo. Girard, Torrence and Williams will join Jesse Edwards in returning to Syracuse. Frank Anselem has elected to enter the transfer portal.
“This was a rough year,” Boeheim said in the video. “We were so close to being good and just couldn’t stop people. Losing Jesse probably killed us. But we’ve got him back, Symir, Joe, Benny. We’ve got some really good freshmen coming in. Should be a fun year next year.”
The return of Girard and Torrence was expected. Both guards will be seniors next season, but could have one additional season of college eligibility following 2022-23. Williams maintained throughout the season that he would be returning to Syracuse for his sophomore year.
He suffered a season-ending lower-body injury in a road loss to North Carolina. In the beginning of March, Boeheim said on his weekly radio show that it was a small injury and Williams was expected to miss four weeks.
With Buddy Boeheim and Jimmy Boeheim set to begin their professional careers, more playing time opens up from the shooting guard and forward positions. Girard figures to play more off-ball as a senior. Syracuse added top-recruit Judah Mintz to its 2022 class on Thursday, who figures to play minutes at point guard. Torrence will also command minutes from the point. Syracuse previewed the backcourt duo of Torrence and Girard in its last game against Duke in the ACC Tournament as the two former Albany City Rocks teammates logged all 80 minutes from both guard positions.
“When he’s off the ball he’s, I think, more dangerous because he’s not worried about making plays,” Jim Boeheim said of Girard during the ACC Tournament. “He’s just worrying about getting his opportunity to score—and he still makes plays out of that—but I think he’s really good when he’s in that position. This year we have somebody at that position but next year’s different.”
Syracuse’s incoming six-man recruiting class will give the Orange at least ten players for 2022-23. The Orange could still return Cole Swider and John Bol Ajak and bring in additional players through the transfer portal.