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Matthew Mayer would make Syracuse men’s basketball a dangerous team next year

The Baylor forward is out of the NBA Draft and into the portal

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Norfolk State vs Baylor Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has one open scholarship and a lack of experienced forwards. On Saturday an immediate impact player became available when Baylor Bears power forward Matthew Mayer withdrew from the NBA Draft.

The 6’9 forward averaged 9.8 points and 5 rebounds a game for Baylor last year. He started all 33 games for the Bears and advanced metrics rated him the best defender in the Big 12. Mayer has one year of eligibility and while his 3-pt shooting isn’t great, he’s a career 34.5% from beyond the arc.

Texas Tech, North Carolina, USC, Memphis, Alabama, Arkansas and Illinois have reportedly already reached out to Mayer and Syracuse should follow suit. Players can’t take any visits until after Memorial Day so competition for Mayer will be fierce as he’s one of the best available players in the portal.

With Benny Williams the most-experienced forward returning for Syracuse, a player like Mayer in the line-up could do wonders for a program coming off a sub .500 season. Mayer’s also big enough to slide into the middle if needed and his ability to rebound and step away from the rim would pair nicely with Jesse Edwards.

I don’t expect Syracuse will be in the hunt for Mayer but keep this in mind next winter if we hear Jim Boeheim lamenting that his young forwards “just aren’t ready to handle the physicality of the ACC”....and if Mayer ends up sliding next to Armando Bacot in Chapel Hill that’s going to be a problem for the rest of the league.