Even prior to the post-season ban and the generally disappointing 2014-15 basketball season, many Syracuse fans were already looking to the 2015-16 season as one where the Orange will yet again be a powerhouse. As of today, Syracuse is bringing in four four-star recruits for next season, which is good enough for the fourth best class in the country, according to ESPN.
The Orange have signed forwards Moustapha Diagne and Tyler Lydon and guards Malachi Richardson and Franklin Howard. Richardson was named a McDonald’s All-American last month.
Then there is the possibility that the Orange add four-star center, Thomas Bryant, to the mix for next season. Bryant is said to be choosing between four schools as he is also fielding offers from Indiana, Kentucky and Kansas.
Even if the Orange fail to land Bryant, this incoming recruiting class will do more than just add new blood and talent. It will give Syracuse something they have seriously lacked in recent years, depth.
Following Chris McCullough’s season-ending injury the Orange have pretty much gone to a seven-man rotation. After the starting five, Jim Boeheim turns to B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson and rarely looks further down the bench.
Assuming McCullough returns for his sophomore season, Syracuse will only lose one player and that is Rakeem Christmas. As it stands, the Orange will add two forwards and two guards to the roster.
This could give Syracuse a sufficient mix of experience and youth in its lineup. The Orange will return four of its current starters and unlike this year, these players will have someone who can relieve them.
The forward position should be loaded with McCullough, Diagne, Lydon, and Gbinije. The Orange expect to see DaJuan Coleman return from injury at center and could have Bryant to compliment him. At the guard position, Trevor Cooney will return for his senior season and recruits Howard and Richardson will help him.
The only position at which the Orange may lack depth is point guard. Kaleb Joseph is improving but he has yet to prove he can be relied on as Tyler Ennis or Michael Carter-Williams once were. Therefore, given the depth at forward, it would not be surprising if Michael Gbinije plays point guard in certain situations as he has done this season.
Overall, even without Bryant, Syracuse is set to have a very deep team next season, something that is a key to success in the ACC and something that has been missing the last couple of seasons.
Posted: Logan Grossman