Maybe it’s because he’s at a loaded position. No one is claiming he’s better than Marek Dolezaj or even Quincy Guerrier. But Robert Braswell deserves to play. He didn’t make the trek out of high school from South Carolina all the way to Syracuse to sit on the bench for a couple of seasons.
But for now Braswell could redshirt according to Syracuse.com. Shin injuries could result in Braswell ending his season prematurely. So far a decision has not been made, but it could be made within the next week according to Jim Boeheim. But once he returns, whether its this season or next, Braswell deserves more playing time.
So far this season Braswell is averaging a paltry 1.7 points per game. Syracuse’s woes won’t cease if Braswell plays. But he also doesn’t hurt the Orange. The sophomore has increased his three point range – and has hit four of six from deep on the season. At the very least, he’s a guy who isn’t afraid to take his shot when he’s open. Dolezaj has played 374 more minutes than Braswell but has taken the same amount of threes. He’s only hit one. Guerrier is a grimace inducing 2-17 from behind the arc.
Braswell seems to be the best shooting power forward for SU. Theoretically, he could spread the floor for SU with Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes, and maybe Joe Girard on the floor. Don’t get it twisted, Braswell probably isn’t a knockdown shooter. But he is a guy that defenses seem to take for granted.
An argument against Braswell could be the measly competition he generally plays against. All but three of his games have been against small-conference teams. But he played well against Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State. Against Penn State he was only on the court for a minute of action and recorded a foul, probably resulting in the quick pull.
Braswell hasn’t developed a reputation for fouling regularly. Maybe that’s because he’s not on the court enough to develop a reputation of any kind. But he’s averaging a foul every 16 minutes. That’s not bad at all. He doesn’t turn the ball over often – just twice on the season. Again, he’s not a centerpiece of the offense so he doesn’t have possession very often. But when he does, he doesn’t make many mistakes.
Braswell’s recorded more steals than turnovers this season – three to two. Yes, he plays at a deep position for Syracuse. But Braswell’s only 6-foot-7, he could play small forward. And he’s shown he has the shooting stroke to not be a liability. He’s not the “answer” to SU’s problems, but he is a nice piece that hasn’t been utilized since stepping onto campus.