A lot can change in a year and no one has learned that in a more abrupt way than Kaleb Joseph. A year ago, he was the guy who was going to help replace the phenom Tyler Ennis. Now, he has lost his job as the starting point guard to Michael Gbinije, who isn’t even a guard.
Just a few days ago, it seemed like Joseph may be a go-to player off of the bench. Now, things took another turn.
To make matters worse for Joseph, despite the clear improvements he has made to his shooting over the summer, Jim Boeheim seems to have even less confidence in him than he did last year. In Syraucse’s ugly win over St. Bonaventure, Joseph only played four minutes.
The Orange didn’t lose any guards this season but added Malachi Richardson, who in the very early part of the season, looks like the real deal. Joseph’s competition is only going to get tougher going forward.
In the past ten days, the Orange have officially added two recruits to the class of 2016, one of whom is a highly touted guard in Tyus Battle. While Battle is officially listed as a shooting guard that doesn’t mean that he will be used in that role at Syracuse.
If Malachi Richardson elects to come back for a second year (which is far from certain, especially after the trend set by Syracuse freshmen in recent years), Joseph may find himself sitting on the bench for much of next season.
Whether he is deserving of his new role or not, Joseph has lost favor with Coach Boeheim. This season he has to show that he belongs on the floor. He cannot afford to make the same mistakes that he did last season and when he gets a chance, he has to grab it and run with it.
The Orange have to lose a player– whether it be to the draft or a transfer– if they want to bring in Battle and Matthew Moyer, assuming that their sanctions are not adjusted. Unfortunately, that player may just be Kaleb Joseph unless he can prove himself this season.