There’s a lot of gloom in Syracuse right now. Greg Gumble didn’t mention SU during Selection Sunday, Jim Boeheim is gone for the next nine conference games, and winter won’t quite go away in the Salt City. Hope is on the horizon though; just look to the depth of next year’s basketball team. The Orange should manage to bounce back from this season to forget.
So who will the major contributors be? Once again Kaleb Joseph will start at point guard. The New Hampshire native struggled in his freshman season averaging over two turnovers per game, but he should have more help in 2015-2016. He’s the only PG on the roster; he’s got to step up.
Trevor Cooney will retain his spot at shooting guard but do not expect him to average over 37 minutes per game like he did last year. Freshman shooting guard Malachi Richardson will play in place of Cooney at times and the pair could even be on the court together if Boeheim (or Mike Hopkins) elects to go small.
The small forward position is all Michael Gbinije’s. The Duke transfer emerged as the Orange’s second scoring option this past season averaging just under 13 points per game. He will take over as the number one option in place of Rakeem Christmas next season.
The two positions down low are where things get interesting. Tyler Roberson has most likely solidified himself as starter for SU after finishing second on the team in rebounds per game with 7.6 last season, but what about at center?
If everyone on Syracuse is healthy then Chris McCullough should start there with DaJuan Coleman and Chino Obokoh behind him. If McCullough isn’t quite ready to begin the year because of his torn ACL then Coleman will start. In a worst-case scenario Obokoh will get the nod if both McCullough and Coleman are not healthy. Obokoh could end up leaving the program however because of the lone scholarship loss next season. This would open the door for freshman Moustapha Diagne.
Whatever happens for the Orange, next year’s team will be better equipped to deal with injury issues due to having more depth from bringing in the nation’s seventh best recruiting class.
Posted: Connor Morrissette