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Loss of Scholarships Increases Importance of Walk-Ons for Syracuse Hoops

The topic of the NCAA’s sanctions against the Syracuse basketball program has been talked about again and again.  Fans have been trying to figure out what the loss of scholarships means for Orange recruiting.  Can SU still land Thomas Bryant in 2015 and Tyus Battle in 2016?

While only time will tell if Syracuse can attract its top targets in the coming years, one thing is certain: the Orange will need more walk-ons to fill the roster spots that can no longer be filled with scholarship players.

That can only mean that every year Syracuse will need an additional three walk-on players to fill out the roster.  More than needing these walk-ons to warm the bench, the Orange may need these players to actually contribute to the team.

This year, like many years in the past, Boeheim kept a short bench using only eight guys in the rotation (seven after McCullough got hurt).  This left no room for a couple of scholarship players much less walk-ons.

With three fewer scholarship players in the upcoming years, an injury or similar incident could leave Boeheim in the predicament of an even shorter bench or having to use walk-on players in his rotation.

Reports have already emerged that Syracuse Wide Receiver Jamal Custis is considering walking onto the Basketball team.  According to Syracuse.com Syracuse Assistant Coach, and presumed Head Coach to-be Mike Hopkins told Curtis that he can walk on to the team.

While this is may just be an athletic student looking to further his involvement and stay in shape the fact that Mike Hopkins reached out to him and talked to him about walking on underlines the increased need for walk-ons.

It makes sense that Hopkins would look inward because it is much easier to find players who already go to Syracuse and have proven their athleticism.  The 6’ 5” receiver could be the first of several players who are added to the Syracuse roster to fill vacancies left by the scholarship reductions.

Posted:  Logan Grossman

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