In what shouldn’t really be a surprise to many Syracuse fans, point guard Kaleb Joseph will transfer out of Syracuse. The sophomore has two years of eligibility remaining.
Joseph started 30 of 31 games in his freshman year last season, but has seen a steady decline in his playing time, going as far back as last season. Towards the end of the year Michael Gbinije took over the role as point guard with increasing frequency and fully took the role from him this season. The grad student started every single game at point guard and scored at least ten points in every game.
Initially it seemed like Joseph would be Gbinije’s back-up. However, in the second half of the season he lost that role to freshman Franklin Howard. Joseph finished up the season playing around six minutes per game, averaging just under one point per game.
This decision really makes sense for all parties involved. Clearly, for whatever reason, Jim Boeheim had lost faith in the New Hampshire native. With the emergence of Franklin Howard and the addition of Tyus Battle for next season, it is very hard to see where Joseph would fall on the depth chart. In short, there is little reason to think anything would be different for him next season.
This is also welcome news to the Syracuse basketball program. That is not an insult to Joseph. It is just that with the scholarship reductions under the NCAA sanctions, the Orange can hardly afford to have a scholarship player who never sees the floor.
This transfer means that the Orange will have nine scholarship players next season, one fewer than the 11 allowed under the NCAA sanctions. There is a chance the Orange look to add another player, whether it be incoming freshman Taurean Thompson or Columbia’s transfer Grant Mullins.
The Orange can now add Thompson and Mullins without another player transferring. However, the Orange face tough competition for Thompson, who received a late offer from the University of Arizona last week. Mullins has been contacted by Syracuse, Michigan, Hawaii and California.