The Syracuse Orange have their most-senior member back in action.
After being suspended during the preseason, Forward Benny Williams has returned to the program in full capacity. The team made the announcement on social media:
Benny Williams has returned to all activities with the Syracuse Men's Basketball program. pic.twitter.com/pcfLc7CF7k— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) November 10, 2023
Williams played in the exhibition opener against Daemen but has been sidelined ever since due to a “violation of team rules”. Coach Adrian Autry has not gone into detail about what Benny did to warrant the suspension.
The junior was expected to start after doing so 24 times last season, but instead he may have to earn his way back into the lineup. Justin Taylor has looked solid filling in for Williams, but there will be chances for the 6’9” forward to get meaningful minutes, starting with Colgate on Tuesday.
Williams averaged 7.2 points and 4.1 rebounds last year. We’ve seen glimpses of “positionless basketball” under Autry and that may continue with Benny entering the mix - his size would also allow him to be a stand-in center, as it did during the Daemen exhibition.
Regardless, it is good to have ‘Cuse closer to full strength ahead of their first real opportunity of the new era. Williams was one of several returners who emphasized that the goal for a team this deep is NCAA Tournament or bust; he should have the rest of the season to make that goal a reality.