The last two seasons Syracuse has had exceptional point guard play from underclassmen. Two years ago sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams led Syracuse to a Final Four appearance, and last season Tyler Ennis was a major reason why the Orange started 25-0. This year, it’s true freshman point guard Kaleb Joseph’s turn.
At Syracuse’s Men’s Basketball Media Day earlier today Jim Boeheim talked about how freshman players must pass two tests. First, they must play well in practice and according to Boeheim the true freshman has done that. Boeheim’s second test is that he wants to see freshman transition what they do in practice to games. Obviously, SU has not played a game yet, but Boeheim seems confident that Joseph will be able to make the adjustment.
“I think Kaleb is just as talented [as Scoop Jardine, Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis]. I think his progress has been good. He’s as hard a worker as any point guard we’ve ever had, probably as any guard we’ve ever had. He understands the game”
That’s pretty high praise for a kid who just arrived on campus. Between Boehim’s compliments and the coach’s recent record with young floor generals, Joseph seems destined for success.
When asked his thoughts on the excellent point guards Syracuse has been able to bring in these last few years, Joseph calmly replied: “I don’t really think about the players before me. It’s obviously great to watch film and study how successful they’ve been here…I just want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
It’s already apparent Boeheim will give Joseph a chance, so what are his playing time goals?
“I expect nothing,” Joseph said. “But, I hope for a lot [of playing time].”
The freshman’s hopes are primed to come true. When asked if they would be ready to replace Joseph at point guard this season both Ron Patterson and Michael Gbinije said they’d be up for the task if necessary. However, the general mood around the Carmelo Anthony Center today was that this is Joseph’s team.
Posted: Connor Morrissette