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The best fit for the 22-23 Syracuse men’s basketball roster might be one who got away

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Big Bad Bobby

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Syracuse at West Virginia IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

As we preview the 22-23 Syracuse Orange men’s basketball roster we’ve talked a lot about the Orange needing a back-up center and more shooting. Personally I’m on record saying that the Syracuse coaches should be looking for a Cole Swider replacement at the power forward spot first and a former Orange reserve would have been an ideal fit.

During his Syracuse career Robert Braswell dealt with injuries which limited his playing time. He emerged in the 2021 post-season when he played more than 20 minutes in four of the five Syracuse ACC/NCAA Tournament games. He was a crucial part of Jim Boeheim’s March strategy to surround Buddy with four of his best defenders. Braswell provided floor spacing and athleticism in the back of the Syracuse 2-3 zone.

During that March run, Braswell shot 14-25 from the field including 7-16 from 3. He helped the Orange hold onto leads against San Diego State and West Virginia with his activity on the wing in the zone and Syracuse fans saw him emerge as a trusted reserve.

After the season Braswell decided to transfer to Charlotte. This year with the 49ers he averaged just under 20 minutes per game scoring 8.1 points per game while shooting 50% from the field, 40% from 3 and 94% from the foul line.

As Jim Boeheim talks about returning to a line-up focused on athleticism and transition basketball, an athlete like Braswell would look good as a bridge for the incoming freshmen as they make the jump to ACC basketball. He’d help spread the floor with his shooting and his defensive acumen would benefit the Orange in the zone, man, or full-court press defense.

“It doesn’t matter where you are

It doesn’t matter where you go

If it’s a million miles away or just ten miles up the road

Take it in, take it with you when you go

Who says you can’t go home?”