A few weeks ago the Fizz took a look at what it would take scholarship wise for the Orange to land highly touted big man Thomas Bryant. The issue is that if everyone who is set to receive a basketball scholarship next season does so, Bryant will not be able to join the team because then the Orange will be over the scholarship limit. A Bryant commitment would put SU at 14 scholarships; Division I teams can only give out 13.
If Chris McCullough went pro after just one season then this would not be an issue because Bryant could take his scholarship. Since the freshman tore his ACL however, it looks like he might stay, which would put Jim Boeheim in a bind.
There are four scenarios that can play out regarding these two players.
1. McCullough goes to the NBA even though he’s coming off of his injury and Bryant takes his spot (no scholarship drama). This situation depends entirely on whether McCullough is comfortable being drafted while injured because he will not be fully healthy by June. His stock will be lower this year than if he were to stay for one more season, but he will definitely be taken.
2. Bryant plays college basketball elsewhere and McCullough stays and gets healthy (no scholarship drama). Syracuse is definitely the frontrunner for Bryant but he could elect to play for a different school (he has quite the offer sheet). The smart move for McCullough is to come back and prove he’s a lottery pick; but does he have any interest in returning?
3. Both players leave (no scholarship drama). This seems the least likely. It would be shocking if neither player were with the program next year because that would leave SU with too few post players.
4. Syracuse has a frontcourt of Bryant and McCullough next winter (scholarship drama). How mouth watering is that!? The issue here though is that someone on Syracuse would have to transfer to make room for both players. Does DaJaun Coleman have a future at Syracuse? Is it too early to give up on Kaleb Joseph? What about Ron Patterson? Will Chino Obokoh ever become a contributor? These are all questions Boeheim will have to answer in order for Bryant and McCullough to end up playing together.
Hopefully all of this will be solved by March. That’s when the center plans to make his collegiate decision.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette