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Syracuse Breakout Candidates: Basketball Edition

A couple weeks ago, we wrote about SU football breakout candidates for the 2019 season. Now it’s time to examine who could burst onto the hardwood for the Orange next season.

Excluded from this list are big time contributors from last year’s team like Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim. They may be in line for even bigger roles, but we’re looking for players who either didn’t play last season or saw minimal playing time.

Jalen Carey – Sophomore, PG

Carey was the crown jewel of SU’s recruiting class in 2018. The Harlem native was supposed to contribute immediately, spelling Frank Howard when the senior needed a break. And when Howard went down early in the year, it was Carey who jumped to the occasion, pouring on 26 points against UConn at Madison Square Garden. The only problem was that the guard 14 turnovers in the first four games. His struggles continued throughout the season as he seemed to lose more and more confidence every time he stepped on the court.

But there’s still hope the former top-40 recruit could return to his dynamic, slashing playstyle. Outside of Howard Washington, there’s not a guard on the roster to challenge Carey for primary ball handler. And Carey’s combination of length and speed gives him the ability to turn defense into offense in a hurry.

Robert Braswell – Sophomore, PF

Braswell didn’t play much his freshman year, but when he got opportunities, he made the most of them. He showed off a mid range jumper, which Syracuse has been lacking from a big man for a while. Just like the rest of SU’s bigs, he needs to bulk up but that should come with time. Braswell also has the capability to extend his range past the three point line. He only took two threes last year and hit one. With more confidence and increased playing time, Braswell could carve out a valuable role in the rotation.

Bourama Sidibe – Junior PF/C

Sidibe has had an up-and-down couple of seasons in Orange, and Jim Boeheim just went out and nabbed a couple of big men recruits. That’s not promising for Sidibe. Neither are his knee injuries which have fully hampered his career to this point. But, if he is healthy, which isn’t often, he’s shown he can be a contributor. A couple years ago he led Syracuse to a win over Pittsburgh. Granted, that was two years ago. It’s tough to be hopeful about Sidibe’s prospects at this point. He has some tools to build around, but any big man with consistent knee problems is troubling.

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. alan randall

    June 2, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I’ll take Washington who appears to be the only true PG we have. I hate the term “combo guard. Carey has the skillset of a SG. Braswell showed he is a more than capable defender My hope is he starts at SF and move hughes to SG, Marek at PF and a big improvement from Sidebe at the C.

    I’m not sold on this incoming class. If you don’t learn the zone, seeing game time becomes difficult.

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