Chris McCullough is done for the season with a torn ACL, and all of those good vibes that were coming after the 3-0 start to the ACC season take a little hit. Sure, McCullough wasn’t exactly lighting it up for Syracuse. He hadn’t scored double digit points in over a month, and Jim Boeheim famously called him out publicly this season. But the reality is that’s one more big body that’s now lost for the Orange.
You don’t have to remind SU fans about lacking an interior presence in March, and the heart burn that has given us all. Dajuan Coleman was lost for the season, so the big men were already few and far between. Now, take another one out of the mix.
The good news is that Rakeem Christmas continues to be a stud every game. He’s eating up smaller centers and power forwards every game, smashing home alley-oops and finding ways to dominate in the paint. But it sure would be nice to have more of a security blanket if he gets into foul trouble. This team feels like a squad that will be defined by Rak, Mike Gbinije and Trevor Cooney.
Give SU credit. While many declared this an NIT season, the Orange has won its first 3 games in the ACC, and seems to have found a certain identity. McCullough makes you drool at his potential, which is why Boeheim was so tough on him. He knew what a C-Mac could mean if he was actually aggressive and comfortable. A true X-Factor. But his season is done, and you figure he’s coming back next season. Although Chad Ford suggested a team could still take him in the late first or second round and stash him because of his athleticism. SU needs to hope another big being erased from the equation doesn’t erase the hopes for a solid postseason run.