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Syracuse men’s basketball 2023-24 player profiles: Justin Taylor

By the clone and transitive property, Taylor is due for a spike in production his sophomore year.

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett /Getty Images

Welcome to the TNIAAM Syracuse Orange Basketball player profiles. As we get closer to opening tip in an intriguing season for the men’s and women’s teams, we’ll take a closer look at each of the players on the basketball rosters. Visit our men’s basketball and women’s basketball sections if you missed your favorite player.

Justin Taylor isn’t going to get the starting spot that Buddy Boeheim got in his sophomore year. That doesn’t mean the doppelganger of the former head coach’s son won’t experience the same bump in his game.

I’ve always been high on Taylor’s potential because of his sky-high offensive ceiling. He flashed that explosiveness at times last season in bursts off the bench. And while he’ll still come off the bench for the Orange at least at the beginning of the year, his ability to hit from range will make it difficult to keep him off the court.

Position: Guard

Class: Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6-6, 218 lbs.

2022-23 Stats: 29 games, 2 starts, 4.2 ppg, 38.3 FG%, 39.3 3FG%, 76.2 FT%, 16.7 mpg

Strengths: It’s obvious to know what Taylor’s biggest strength is. The Charlottesville, Va. native has a sweet and smooth jump shot that is pretty effective from beyond the arc. He has perfected the catch-and-shoot quick release that made Buddy Boeheim so lethal later in his career. Taylor doesn’t always get the ball with so many primary scorers on the team, but he clearly makes the best of his limited opportunity. His 6-foot-6 frame also allows for a little position versatility between the 2 and 3 positions.

Weaknesses: While Taylor is a great 3-point shooter, there isn’t much offensive versatility in his game, much like the younger Boeheim son early in his career. If Taylor doesn’t get a good look the instant that he gets the ball, you can almost assume that he’s giving the ball up. He hasn’t shown the ability yet to create his own shot by exploding to the rim or creating space around the perimeter with his dribble. Defensive questions are going to be prevalent as well, especially if Syracuse continues to play him at the 3.

Ceiling: Taylor continues to hit threes at a very consistent rate. He also develops more ways to score inside, making defending him more of a headache. Taylor’s shooting stretches the floor, eventually making him impossible to keep off the floor and into the starting lineup. He also shows improvements defensively that prove he can hang with some of the athletic small forwards in the conference.

Floor: Taylor can’t shoot consistently enough to warrant a place in the starting lineup. While he still comes off the bench and provides an extra shooting threat, opponents only have to worry about his three-point shot. Taylor also shows that he can’t keep up with opposing small forwards, proving to be a step behind and a second late on defense.

Let’s get a good look at ya: