In the latest Syracuse basketball recruiting saga, Jim Boeheim‚Äôs Orange is trying to fend off Miami (and maybe Richmond) to land Nebraska graduate transfer Andrew White. Below, the Fizz compares both programs to determine the best fit for the guard.
Last season‚Äôs results: 3rd seed in NCAA Tournament after finishing 3rd in the ACC – The ‚ÄòCanes fell in the Sweet Sixteen to eventual champion Villanova.
Key Losses: Sheldon McClellan (G), G Angel Rodriguez (G), and Tonye Jekiri (C) ‚Äì McClellan and Rodriguez led Miami in points per game while Jekiri led the Hurricanes in rebounding a year ago.
Impact Returners: Ja‚ÄôQuan Newton (G), Davon Reed (G), Kamari Murphy (F) ‚Äì Newton will take over for Rodriguez at the point guard spot. Reed averaged just over 11 points per game last season and will now have a bigger role with the absence of McClellan.
Key Additions: Freshmen Bruce Brown (G), freshman Dewan Huell (F), transfer Rashad Muhammad (G) – Brown and Huell are McDonalds All Americans and will be expected to play right away for the ‚ÄòCanes. Think of Brown as Miami‚Äôs Tyus Battle. Muhammad sat out last season after transferring from San Jose St. He plays the wing and will also be expected to contribute.
White‚Äôs potential role: While Miami has to replace three key players, Jim Larranaga‚Äôs group will compete in the ACC once again, with or without White. If the Nebraska transfer picks Miami, he‚Äôll face stiff competition for playing time from Reed and Brown, but will certainly be in the rotation. The ‚ÄòCanes have issues on the interior and at point guard; their wing play will be what carries them. White would add experience and sharp three point shooting to a unit that is already very skilled.
Last season‚Äôs results: 10th seed in the NCAA Tournament after finishing 10th in the ACC ‚Äì The Orange advanced to the Final Four where it eventually fell to national runner up, North Carolina.
Key Losses: Michael Gbinije, Malachi Richardson, Trevor Cooney ‚Äì Just like Miami, Syracuse is losing some very impactful guards. This trio led SU in scoring as well as minutes per game last year. The group also made up three of the four three point threats on SU.
Impact Returners: Tyler Lydon, DaJuan Coleman, Tyler Roberson and Franklin Howard ‚Äì Lydon has the potential to be a stud, but in terms of returning talent this group is primarily made up of role players.
Key Additions: Tyus Battle, John Gillon, Taurean Thompson, Matthew Moyer, Paschal Chukwu ‚Äì There‚Äôs a slew of new faces on the SU basketball roster. Battle and Gillon will have important roles due to the limited number of guards on the roster. Chukwu will certainly see time in the paint after sitting out last season following his transfer from Providence.
White‚Äôs potential role: It‚Äôs clear why Boeheim wants White: three point shooting. As the roster is currently constructed, the only natural three-point shooter is Tyler Lydon. White fits perfectly as a two guard for Syracuse, which is the only real hole on the team. Without White, SU could certainly make due, but on paper he seems like the perfect fit.
Both Syracuse and Miami can win now. Miami may not be the best fit for White since there is so much guard completion, but he could certainly work his way into a starting role. For SU, that role seems more easily attainable. Overall, Syracuse makes more basketball sense, but Miami will also be talented and offers weather that Central New York can‚Äôt touch.
Follow The Fizz on twitter¬†@OrangeFizz¬†to stay up to date with SU basketball and football recruiting.
Posted: Connor Morrissette