Syracuse Basketball Still Contenders with Jerami Grant In, DaJuan Coleman Out

How does Coleman’s season-ending surgery affect Jerami Grant and the Orange?

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via Dyst Now

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to DaJuan Coleman. But while he recovers, Syracuse is still a legitimate contender for the championship.

Though we aren’t kicking a man while he’s down, it is true that Coleman hasn’t been what Syracuse has expected coming out of Jamesville-DeWitt. Now that Coleman is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury that will require surgery, the big question is not only how will Syracuse play without one less big man, but what does this mean for the future of Jerami Grant?

Grant was expected to be a sixth man who could leave the 315 in search for the big money and fame in the NBA at the end of the season. Some people say he’s gone, others say he will stay. Now that Coleman is done, Grant is the likely starter for the remainder of the season. This is his chance to shine and show NBA scouts that he’s the real deal. If he continues to play the way he has, the NBA could be calling his name in June.

Grant has averaged 12.5 points per game and still manages to grab 6.5 boards. He’s not a super tall big man, but he’s physical and strong enough to play the position and finish the game with a double-double. In his last four games, he’s averaged 13 points and 8.5 boards. Even though he came off the bench with Coleman in the lineup, those numbers are still better than Coleman’s.

Coleman had work to do. He had to learn to be tougher and more physical, but not commit those fouls that often led to extra minutes for Grant and Baye Keita. However, Grant’s biggest downside is his foul trouble. He’s had four fouls four times this season, but he’s been in double-digit points in all but three.

Coleman should have been pulled for Grant in the lineup a long time ago. Grant is a better all-around player, but doesn’t have the height that Coleman does. The bottom line is that Syracuse is a tougher, better offensive team with Grant in the lineup. As long as Grant continues to help Syracuse score more points and win more games, allowing opponents to score an average of 58 points per game isn’t an issue.

Syracuse has already beat three ranked teams this season. This team is for real. The ACC isn’t a particularly big conference like the Big East is, so lack of a big man isn’t a really big issue. Rakeem Christmas will need to continue his somewhat decent defensive play from the last few weeks. Baye Keita never seems to put up star numbers, but he gives Boeheim solid minutes on the floor. Boeheim needs that, especially with the loss of a natural big man. When Keita is given his minutes, he typically puts them to good use.

Yeah, Syracuse will be okay.

Posted by: Austin Pollack 

4 Comments on this Post

  1. I love Jeremi’s play for the Orange this year but I don’t see him YET as an NBA player. He needs to address his mid and long range shooting far more IMO. I know both he and Tyler are being spoken of as gone for next year . If they come back I am convinced that Jimmy will have maybe his third national trophy if he gets number 2 this coming March. The players coming into the team and the emergence of Obokoh after his red-shirt learning time will give us the best since 2003.

  2. We will miss the presense of Coleman … Another Big Man Gonesville

  3. NBA is based on potential… Jerami is a top20 prospect, Ennis is a top30 prospect and they deserve the attention from that stanpoint. Surprisingly, CJ top100 has not helped his draft stock in the first half of the season. SF is stocked this season: Wiggins, Jabari, Hood, Dekker etc… but then again there’s tons of ball left!

    Ennis is great, but K Joseph has that “jonny Flynn” game, so if Ennis moves on, which wouldn’t be surprising, I feel safe with the talent coming in.

    Losing Grant is more worrisome. He’s the highlight guy, & glue guy, if not for injury.. “6th man of the year” nationally, easy. But with Johnson & Roberson getting ready, SF will take a step back in ’14-’15 but not too far.. potentially.. lol

    Oboknoh? Not really, but Chris McCollough may exceed DC2 & Kietas production by himself. Rebounding have plagued SU more than freethrows in recent years….. RICK JACKSON was the last real rebounder with 10+ per game for the entire season. McCollough could go for 9+ rebounds per in 14-15!!!! DC2 get healthy, cause the 6’10” athlete runs like a SF…

  4. I feel losing DC kinda hurts but RAK has played really well in the middle of the zone. He looks 100x more comvertable there. I hope this means Roberson gets some more run. Saw couple places say that JB was trying to get him some more run time. Well he has his chance now.

    Dip- few things Ennis has moved into the top 20 prospects for this yrs draft. I feel with a deep run he could end up being in the late lottery area. Fair hasn’t moved up bc his 3 point shooting hasn’t been great. At the end of the day he’s a tweeiner. He’s stuck between a SG and a SF. I still feel he can be a late 1st early 2nd rd pick. We will see though

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