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Time to Step Up: Is Recruit Kaleb Joseph Syracuse’s Next Starting PG?

Kaleb Joseph has big shoes to fill in as Syracuse’s likely starting point guard next season.

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via Syracuse.com

While the news of Tyler Ennis’ departure has left a salty feeling among Syracuse fans, SU basketball must look forward to next year and who will be running the point.

The likely starter will be incoming PG Kaleb Joseph. Joseph committed to the Orange in mid-August. The New Hampshire product will have lofty expectations as he fills in for Ennis. But it will be important to realize that Joseph will probably not get off to the hot start Ennis did.

Luckily for Joseph, he will have some help. Michael Gbinije did a great job filling in for Ennis when he had to go to the bench. Gbinije is labeled as a swingman but practiced ball-handling extensively, as Boeheim was more comfortable with Gbinije bringing up the ball than Cooney. Ron Patterson also will see increased minutes next season, which should help the flow of the backcourt and take some pressure off Cooney.

After Ennis’ announcement to forgo his sophomore year and enter in the NBA Draft, Joseph’s coach at Cushing Academy in Rhode Island told SNY.TV, “You’re losing a point guard who’s pretty damn good. I got some news for you. This kid’s ready.” Again, you cannot expect Joseph to be the next Tyler Ennis, but a voice of confidence from his prep coach can assure the Syracuse faithful that he plans to be ready to play at the start of the season.

Joseph is ranked 49th overall according to ESPN and is a 4-star recruit. He is also the 9th best point guard in the class. Joseph has a great jumper and has been working on distributing the ball. He appears to be a lot more aggressive in scoring than Ennis was coming into the season. This could complement the loaded front court perfectly, as the Orange seeks a new identity after losing Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita.

Losing Ennis is clearly a big hit for the Orange. There will not be as much pressure on K-Jo 2.0 as there was on Ennis because of how much Gbinije has matured in one season. Let’s see what Joseph can do when the lights are on at the Carrier Dome.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell


5 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    I think what we lose with Ennis was that ability to create a shot with 8 seconds left on the shot clock.

    KJo has a tough act to follow obviously and it’s a task made much harder as Ennis had that Canadian tour to get to know the guys under game conditions. That was huge toward the 25-0 start.

  2. Boston Jay

    I really question Boeheim’s roster building. Most of the top teams in the country have 2-3 point guards on the roster yet the Orange are content to roll with a freshman PG and some converted projects? Ennis was an amazing freshman pg and that is a huge outlier, expecting Joseph to duplicate this feat is unfair.

    With BMK, CJ, Ennis, and likely Grant too, out the door….plus Coleman’s healthy likely having him out at the beginning of 2014-2015 season…that leaves the Orange with only 9 healthy bodies to start next year, many of which have question marks as to how good they are. Can you say bridge year?

  3. Cuse Don't Luse

    @ Boston Jay
    I don’t think next year will be a bridge year, in fact I don’t think we were all that great this year. St. Francis was a game that if it was anyone else we would have lost, based on how bad we played. Both Pitt games could have easily gone the other way if they hit that 3 in the first game and we miss the half court buzzer beater in the second game. I think Duke at home we should have lost if all their studs didn’t foul out, so right there is 4 games that would have made us 21-4 and certainly a couple more like Villanova when we were down 12 and then their best player got in foul trouble. Really what I’m saying is all the games we won were close and left the other team saying if only this one thing didn’t happen, we just simply never dominated even in the cupcake games.

    So basically if you don’t want to read that I don’t think we have that much to go down from we weren’t exactly as tremendous as our former #1 spot said we were. Secondaly, the 9 bodies won’t hurt because we see time and time again that Boeheim plays a 7 or 8 man rotation so that really isn’t a concern.

    The part I do agree with you on is building up point guard in the program, because it is unfair to expect Joseph to do the things Ennis did, however I think Boeheim didn’t expect Ennis to play that way and expected to have both going into next year. With that being said, I’m still nervous about point guard on next years team, that is definitely up in the air.

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