One year of college is all Ennis needed, but he had a strong, meaningful impact on a team that did far better than most expected. That team started 25-0 and became a favorite to possibly win a national championship.
This year is different. Ennis, Jerami Grant, and CJ Fair are all gone – the three biggest parts of the team from last year.
Syracuse brought in freshmen, like Kaleb Joseph, and Chris McCullough. The Orange also got a glimpse of what sophomore Ron Patterson could bring to the table in Syracuse’s 76-68 win over Carleton, Sunday.
After the game, Jim Boeheim spoke highly of his team and said they got good looks and performed well against a very talented team like Carleton. It was the unexpected players who came out and performed.
Joseph, a true freshman, finished with 19 points. McCullough had 14 and even dropped in a three. Patterson did not get much playing time last season because of the strength of the upperclassmen. He finished with 15 points, showing early signs of being a clutch deep shooter for Boeheim this season. He was 4-for-5 from deep.
The big story was Joseph, though mainly because he is likely to be the key guy to take over the responsibilities of Ennis. Joseph is quick. He has the speed, and the ability to have different parts of his game, whether he is driving to the basket or shooting the ball.
Orange Nation needs to keep a serious eye on Joseph and how he progresses throughout the season. He’s a well-spoken kid who not only wants to personally succeed, but he wants to win. Each point he scored had some sort of celebration behind it. He feeds off energy. When the Dome crowd started to get into the game after Syracuse struggling in the first half, he only excelled and performed better.
The next game for Syracuse is Nov. 10 against Adrian, and then the season opener on Nov. 14 against Kennesaw State. Look for Joseph to keep performing well and to then be ready for the next step, which will be ACC play.
Posted: Austin Pollack