While the news of Tyler Ennis’ departure has left a salty feeling among Syracuse fans, SU basketball must look forward to next year and who will be running the point.
The likely starter will be incoming PG Kaleb Joseph. Joseph committed to the Orange in mid-August. The New Hampshire product will have lofty expectations as he fills in for Ennis. But it will be important to realize that Joseph will probably not get off to the hot start Ennis did.
Luckily for Joseph, he will have some help. Michael Gbinije did a great job filling in for Ennis when he had to go to the bench. Gbinije is labeled as a swingman but practiced ball-handling extensively, as Boeheim was more comfortable with Gbinije bringing up the ball than Cooney. Ron Patterson also will see increased minutes next season, which should help the flow of the backcourt and take some pressure off Cooney.
After Ennis’ announcement to forgo his sophomore year and enter in the NBA Draft, Joseph’s coach at Cushing Academy in Rhode Island told SNY.TV, “You’re losing a point guard who’s pretty damn good. I got some news for you. This kid’s ready.” Again, you cannot expect Joseph to be the next Tyler Ennis, but a voice of confidence from his prep coach can assure the Syracuse faithful that he plans to be ready to play at the start of the season.
Joseph is ranked 49th overall according to ESPN and is a 4-star recruit. He is also the 9th best point guard in the class. Joseph has a great jumper and has been working on distributing the ball. He appears to be a lot more aggressive in scoring than Ennis was coming into the season. This could complement the loaded front court perfectly, as the Orange seeks a new identity after losing Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita.
Losing Ennis is clearly a big hit for the Orange. There will not be as much pressure on K-Jo 2.0 as there was on Ennis because of how much Gbinije has matured in one season. Let’s see what Joseph can do when the lights are on at the Carrier Dome.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell