Syracuse fans are surely breathing a little bit easier after the commitment of Howard Washington on Thursday. Orange fans have seen poor point guard play doom the Orange in countless games this season and Syracuse is set to lose John Gillon after their NIT run comes to a close. Washington may not be a big name, but he is a point guard, which the Orange needed in the worst way possible. So, with Washington committed to the Orange, what is the roster going to look like next year? How many more players can the Orange bring in?
The Orange, as of this moment, will only have three true guards on their roster next season. Frank Howard and Tyus Battle (assuming the freshman doesn’t shock the world and declare for the draft) are the only returning guards from this year’s roster. John Gillon and Andrew White III are out of eligibility. The Orange are bringing in the aforementioned Howard Washington. This leaves much to be desired.
Syracuse is still pursuing two four-star guards for next season and if they can land either, it would be a massive get. The Orange are considered by many to be the front runners to get Eric Ayala, the fourth ranked combo guard in the class of 2017. The Wilmington, Delaware native also holds offers from Maryland, Arizona, UConn and Villanova. The Orange are also pursuing Tremont Waters, the ninth ranked point guard in the class of 2017. Waters’ situation is a bit trickier as he signed a Letter of Intent with Georgetown back in October. The Orange can’t formally pursue Waters until he is granted a release from his Letter of Intent. Syracuse will have to compete with the likes of Indiana, Kansas and Kentucky to land Waters.
The forward positions are much more of a log jam than the guards. If Tyler Lydon decides to return to school, Syracuse will have as many as six forwards on the roster next season. Lydon, Taurean Thompson and Paschal Chukwu will be joined by Matthew Moyer and two 2017 recruits, O”Shae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe next season. Presumably, Syracuse will not look to add any more depth at the three forward positions and it is anyone’s guess how the minutes get divided among the forwards. If Lydon decides that he is NBA-ready, the Orange will likely be in big trouble at the forward positions next season because Taurean Thompson would be the only player with any real Syracuse experience.
There will likely be a lot of turnover in terms of playing minutes next season as the Orange are going to lose at least three players who played major minutes in Gillon, White and Tyler Roberson. Orange fans can only hope that there isn’t as long of a growth period next season.