The Orange’s offseason has certainly not gone according to plan. And plenty of more changes could still be on the way with Tyus Battle’s pending NBA decision and some open scholarships that could be filled. One of the major pieces that could potentially be on the way to Syracuse is Robert Braswell. With the calendar already flipped to May, the South Carolina product is a must for the Orange.
Regardless of Battle’s decision, SU currently has four frontcourt players on scholarship heading into next year. While Jim Boeheim is known for running thin rotations, that’s probably not his intended purpose year to year. It’s also nice to have a security blanket for unplanned events like injuries, departures, etc.
Braswell checks all the Syracuse boxes. He’s long, athletic and can also shoot the ball. His frame is perfect for the defense and has shown the ability to be a prolific shot blocker, despite being just 6-foot-9. While that’s tall for a high school player, the way in which he blocks shots is impressive. He comes out of nowhere and his length does the rest. Now imagine that coming off the bench for Syracuse.
We saw the Orange find diamonds in the rough in last year’s recruiting, including landing Marek Dolezaj in late May. The SU staff knows how to recruit, especially with its system. Braswell isn’t the highest rated recruit right now. He’s just a three star that sits outside the top 160, according to 247Sports. But when you look at the 2017 recruiting class, it didn’t seem like there was much promise. However, the Orange found its best rebounder (Oshae Brissett) and arguably its most surprising role player (Dolezaj), despite not being highly touted recruits.
Currently, Braswell holds only two Power Five offers after getting one from the Orange earlier this month. But SU is by far the best basketball school he is getting looks from. His other Power Five offer is Oklahoma State. Right now, 247Sports pegs SU as the favorite to land the forward. The Orange needs Braswell on its roster to play a role similar to Dolezaj last season. He can be the vital bench piece that can provide defensive energy. However, the one area where Braswell has a leg up on the Slovak is with shooting. If SU can lock down this three-and-D prospect, the Orange will have some much desired depth in its frontcourt.