While the specific performances of Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas in the McDonald‚Äôs All-American game weren‚Äôt worth scrutinizing, their “Burger Game” appearance at did bring to the forefront of discussion amongst SU fans.
What can we expect out of Syracuse‚Äôs incoming batch of freshmen? Who will have the biggest immediate impact?
- Listen to a Fresh FizzCast on the incoming hoops freshman & spring football
MCW‚Äôs game is already polished, but his light frame is the biggest dynamic holding him back. As Team Fizz convened for a Fresh FizzCast, Hoffman expressed skepticism that the 6‚Äô5‚Äô‚Äô point guard has the body strength to contribute as a freshman. But he doesn‚Äôt doubt that Carter-Williams will eventually contribute in a big way.
‚ÄúYou think of what Rick Jackson did to his body in one offseason. Carter-Williams is capable of making a transformation. He has plenty of room to grow on his frame. I just doubt you‚Äôll see that between now and October 15, when practice starts. Maybe his sophomore year he really bulks up. If he works out with Triche, maybe he can add some of that strength.‚Äù
We also heard from one of the new members of Team Fizz, Steve Neikam, aka Big Steve. Neikam weighs in about 50 lbs. more than Carter-Williams, so it‚Äôs easy to see why Steve would have more faith in Christmas to make his presence felt in his first year on campus. But Big Steve is actually optimistic about Christmas for a for a different reason.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not because he‚Äôs more talented or even more ready for Big East basketball, and generally it would be even harder for a big man to make an instant impact. But you look at the two situations that these guys are coming into. MCW is going to be joining a backcourt that already includes Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and Dion Waiters. Whereas if you look inside, Rakeem Christmas is going to have a lot more of an opportunity to seize playing time right away and make a name for himself. None of the other bigs have really jumped out and shown that they deserve playing time.‚Äù
Regardless of how much playing time the freshmen receive, they‚Äôll be nothing more than role players at the beginning of their careers. In fact, I believe their unremarkable play in the Mickey D‚Äôs game is positive sign.
‚ÄúThey didn‚Äôt light it up like some of the other players, but they kind of seemed like they were willing to defer at times to their teammates, and didn‚Äôt really care about amassing their own point totals. That‚Äôs probably something they‚Äôre going to have to do next year.‚Äù
Long before the 2011-2012 hoops season gets underway, though, football will start again. Doug Marrone continues to hold spring weekday practices and weekend scrimmages. In the FizzCast we also noted¬†some very heated moments between the offense and defense, typically featuring Ri‚ÄôShard Anderson and Phillip Thomas.
Stay locked into the FizzCast until the very end for an inside look at how wide receiver Jeremiah Kobena and defensive tackle Deon Goggins are working to improve their games and earn a spot on the field next fall.
Check out a Fresh FizzCast at the beginning of every week. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates on all things SU sports.
Posted: Andrew Kanell