Jim Boeheim has mentioned the probability of “tremendous change” to the Syracuse program this offseason. We know that the Orange is potentially looking for somebody to transfer so Thomas Bryant can come aboard, but do Boeheim’s comments mean more than just that? Let’s run through some potential changes.
Ron Patterson transfers
This is very possible. Patterson got more playing time as the season progressed, but his game didn’t grow like fans or the coaching staff would have hoped. Patterson’s struggles even led to this great moment after the Virginia Tech game. Ron is still a shooting guard who can’t shoot very well. He will be behind Trevor Cooney, Frank Howard, and Michael Gbinije next season. Needless to say, playing time could be hard to come by.
BJ Johnson transfers
We have heard a lot about Johnson possibly transferring. He and Patterson seem like the two most likely options. He has come along lately, most notably with a big game with the win over Notre Dame, then starting against Virginia. But the question becomes, has he done enough? BJ is not a great rebounder, and his shot is still suspect. Also, he plays that swing position, similar to Ron Patterson. Next year, Johnson could be stuck behind Gbinije, and Malachi Richardson, so like Patterson, there could be a lack of playing time there.
Kaleb Joseph transfers
This is an option that hasn’t been discussed much. Yes, Kaleb started nearly every game for the Orange, but we just haven’t seen the improvement you would expect out of a freshman who starts the whole season. He should have advanced farther. Boeheim talked about the point guard position Wednesday afternoon, and mentioned how Gbinije isn’t really a point guard but didn’t mention Joseph. Maybe the coach knows something we don’t.
Trevor Cooney or Michael Gbinije leave
If they’re done with college hoops, they can try to go pro (D-League or Europe included). Both are seniors academically, so they graduate in May. That also means either Gbinije or Cooney could technically go play at another college next year as well. It’s unlikely either will transfer – for Gbinije is would be his third college – but it is an option (albeit highly unlikely). Don’t anticipate this happening since both are expected to be starters with “senior leadership” next season.
Jim Boeheim Leaves
Of all these options, this is by far the least likely. I see virtually no way Jim Boeheim retires or leaves the Syracuse basketball program yet. First, next year’s recruiting class is loaded, and what coach would want to give up that group? Second, he’s only 34 wins away from 1000. Additionally, in his book Boeheim said he wouldn’t leave because times are tough. With an NCAA investigation still hanging over the program, this isn’t the time to retire. And finally, next year marks 40 years as the head coach of the Orange. An incredible bench mark to achieve.
So what will be the “tremendous change”? Thomas Bryant could be in an SU uniform next season. That means someone is out, and entirely possibly two players leave. If so, look at BJ and Ron. However, don’t wouldn’t rule out Kaleb, if the coaching staff doesn’t think he will improve to the point he needs to, then maybe they kindly nudge him out in an attempt to get Thomas Bryant.
Posted: Seth Goldberg