Malachi Richardson enrolls at Syracuse this coming fall, and he’s coming in hot.
The 6’6” guard Richardson earned the Gatorade New Jersey state player of the year honors Sunday to bolster his high school resume even more. A McDonald’s All-American, Richardson is no doubt one of the best guards in his recruiting class. He provides instant offense and a bonafide scoring presence Jim Boeheim has needed since Dion Waiters left after his sophomore year.
Okay, so you get the point. Richardson displays a lot of talent and clearly he’s ready to step in to make an immediate impact. He’s anchored this tightly-knit 2015 recruiting class even though he was second to commit behind forward Tyler Lydon. The coaching staff has to have Richardson penciled in at the very least as a sixth man option.
But do Boeheim, Mike Hopkins and the rest of the staff take this a step further?
We can’t rule out the idea of Richardson starting in the Syracuse backcourt during the 2015-2016 season. Seems crazy with both veteran guards Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije returning. If you want a lineup with size and muscle, a three-guard package of Gbinije at the point alongside Cooney and Richardson is doable.
This means Kaleb Joseph heads to the bench. A tough blow and this theory could be totally wrong. Joseph deserves to start again no question, but Richardson deserves the chance for consideration if he maintains this level of stardom.
A five consisting of Gbinije, Cooney, Richardson, Roberson and I don’t know, Thomas Bryant? His status is obviously just that, a question mark, but it’s a lineup full of explosiveness and size. Doesn’t hurt to wonder what this lineup could do on the court particularly in crunch time when buckets are at a premium.
In all likelihood, Richardson comes off the bench with a pivotal role next season. Just don’t be surprised if he slides into the first five at some point. Boeheim said Gbinije would not start, and he did by the sixth game into the season.