As it did before heading to The Basketball Tournament last year, Boeheim’s Army group of former Orangemen spent some time in Syracuse again this summer practicing and playing with members of this year’s Orange. And as they did last year, the old were impressed with the new.
Last year, Boeheim’s Army gave us a sneak peek into the future, telling us that then-overlooked recruit Tyler Lydon could end up being a one-and-done. Lydon ended up staying for another year, but he certainly impressed us after the Army told us he would. So who are the stars we should be looking for this year?
Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, that’s who. Wait… Frank Howard?
Apparently. Terrence Roberts and Eric Devendorf both agreed Howard was the most improved player on the team, as they told Chris Carlson:
“Frank, for sure,” Devendorf said. “You can tell in his confidence and how he’s playing. His jump shot looks better. He looks more poised handling the ball, being a point guard. He stuck out from the first day we played. I think he’s going to have a good season.”
“Frank looked a lot better than he did at the end of the season, or the season in general,” Roberts said. “He looked poised, in control of the team. Even in open runs he was being a good distributor and a leader. I think he’ll make the biggest leap as far as being able to score the ball.”
So is Frank Howard the next great Syracuse point guard to follow in the footsteps of Tyler Ennis, Michael Carter-Williams and (kinda) Michael Gbinije? Maybe, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Lest we forget, some people were saying similar things about Kaleb Joseph going into last season.
Oh, and the guys really liked Tyus Battle, too.
“He’s super-explosive, super-fast, but also poised,” Roberts told Carlson. “He can play the (point), which is critical for his transition into the NBA. He can shoot the ball, actually has a decent post game. He was the most impressive to me. He’ll be starting in my opinion. The other (freshmen) will see some minutes here and there.”
There’s a ton of other positive things Boeheim’s Army said about this team which should make you even more excited about the season to come, but right now all focus should be on the ex-Syracuse players who are playing for the big bucks in Philadelphia.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson