After Saturday’s theatrics against Wake Forest, with Brycen Goodine serving as the hero, Syracuse capped off one of the best weekends of the season.
Jim Boeheim mentioned in his press conference, that Goodine came into the game after Dolezaj fouled out because of how well he’s been playing in practice. Bourama Sidibe and Quincy Guerrier had already fouled out, forcing SU to play three guards. Earlier in the year, Howard Washington was the player Boeheim turned too late in games.
While Washington is better at running the offense – as he did early in the first half of the Wake Forest game when Joe Girard struggled – his own shot is non-existent. Opponents sag off of Washington regularly, which limits spacing for Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim.
Neither Goodine or Washington are scoring at a high clip – neither average more than two points per game – but Goodine is willing to take the shot. And with time winding down in the second half against the Demon Deacons, Goodine found the ball in his hands and went up for a contested layup.
After dealing with injuries earlier this season, Boeheim said that Goodine simply had not had enough time to be game-ready. Now, Goodine seems ready for a bigger role, especially on a short Syracuse bench.
That doesn’t mean that Goodine will always be the first guy to come in when Girard is struggling. Washington is still the best guard at slowing down the offense and allowing the team to re-discover its rhythm. But when more offensive upside is needed, Goodine needs to come in. Maybe that means 5-10 minutes per game. While that’s not much, it’s more than he’s been receiving, where he doesn’t even step on the floor in some games.
Syracuse needs to give Goodine more opportunities. He took advantage of his last one, and Boeheim should respond by trusting the freshmen more. It’s vital for Goodine’s development, and after Saturday, it’s clear he’s heading in the right direction.