Oshae Brissett: B-
Brissett is a tough one to grade. On one hand, he’s been inconsistent and very inefficient. The Canadian’s three-point shooting numbers are down from last year (roughly 28% after 33% last year as a freshman). The free-throw shooting has also been a problem at 66.7% right now. But, on the other hand, he’s the team’s leading rebounder and has four double-doubles on the year, including a 19 & 11 outing at Notre Dame recently. It seems like being aggressive again and getting back to how he played in his first two games of the season when NBA scouts were taking note.
Elijah Hughes: A-
The highest season grade at the halfway point belongs to Hughes. The ECU transfer came in with perhaps as much hype as possible for someone who hadn’t really proved much of anything in front of a real public crowd and he’s somehow exceed it. Hughes is shooting the three better than essentially anyone on the team right now when you think of his volume. He’s at 36.4% from downtown, which is way better than anyone could have anticipated. Not to mention, his uptick in rebounding lately and most importantly the consistency. 14+ points in every game since his lone dud of the season vs Cornell.
Tyus Battle: B+
Battle’s shaky start to the season feels far in the rear-view mirror at this point. It hasn’t been perfect. Like Brissett, his 29.1% clip from beyond-the-arc is the lowest of his SU career and underwhelming. However, he’s still sixth in the conference in scoring and has hit the timely shots yet again–especially against G’town. When someone’s got seven 20+ point performances on the season and is one of the best players in the conference game in and game out, it’s hard to give them anything less than a B+.
Marek Dolezaj: B
The numbers leave a lot to be desired. Even after his season-high 10 points against Clemson, Dolezaj is still averaging just 3.7 points per game. That’s barely more than Boeheim and less than Chukwu. But, he’s obviously more than just points. It seems like he’s finding his role on this team and we have to give him credit for the fact that every since he’s been inserted into the starting lineup, they’ve been a different team.
Frank Howard: C-
You can’t sugarcoat it. Howard has been a disappointment. Just 6.6 PPG and 31.6 FG % are not gonna get it done. He did play his best game of the season against Clemson though. So maybe he’s rounding a corner. If the senior point guard can give Syracuse more and starting looking like his junior year self that changes the ceiling of this team dramatically.
Jalen Carey: B
Hard to say how Jalen Carey’s freshman season has gone so far. At the midway point, you could make the case for him being better than advertised considering he put up 26 points in a game and hit a huge three against Georgetown with two minutes left. You could also make the case–probably a more reasonable one–for him being slightly underwhelming at just 5.4 PPG. Then again, is that really on him or is it due to the fact Boeheim isn’t playing him enough minutes?
Bourama Sidibe: C+
Sidibe would’ve probably gotten a D like his counterpart Chukwu if not for the Clemson game. He was huge in the first half and finally gave SU some production at center. The general body of work has still been uninspiring for the most part. Let’s keep in mind he is still dealing with pain to his knee though. It wouldn’t surprise me if we keep seeing more games like Wednesday the more Sidibe’s knee gets healthier.
Paschal Chukwu: D
Funny how the two lowest grades on the team go to Chukwu and Howard, the two seniors on the roster. Perhaps being benched for the full Clemson game will wake Chukwu up a little bit, kinda like when he played with more energy in his first reserve action against Arkansas State. Up until this point, though, it’s been a season to forget.
Buddy Boeheim: C
Maybe we got too excited about Boeheim after the preseason and seeing him shoot it well at Orange vs White. He wasn’t a top 100 guy after all. He isn’t supposed to be playing a lot in conference play kinda like Robert Braswell. You’d think he would be able to shoot it better than 21.1% from distance though.