Quincy Guerrier was a four star recruit coming out of high school. He had 30 scholarship offers, the majority of which came from Power Five schools. He was ranked fifth on the Fizz‚Äôs ‚ÄúSyracuse‚Äôs Most Important Players‚Äù List. Guerrier was even projected as a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA draft before the season began. That was then.
This is now. Guerrier is averaging 8.5 minutes per game over the last two contests, which is way below his season average of 17.2. In those two games against Georgia Tech and Georgetown, he was held scoreless, shooting 0-5 from the field. Guerrier fouled out against the Yellow Jackets in only 12 minutes of playing time. Plus, he got called for two fouls in the five minutes he saw the court in DC. Not to mention, he had two turnovers in those five minutes.
It‚Äôs safe to say the Canadian isn‚Äôt living up to expectations. Jim Boeheim realizes that too and is disappointed to say the least.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm looking for anything,‚Äù Boeheim said when asked about Guerrier‚Äôs performance. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a freshman, he‚Äôs lost. I don‚Äôt think he knows what‚Äôs going on out there yet. He‚Äôs got to learn. He‚Äôs got physical talent but that‚Äôs got nothing to do with how you play.‚Äù
Guerrier needs to match his ‚Äòphysical talent‚Äô with some mental talent now. Sure, he‚Äôs a freshman and there is a learning curve to playing college ball, but he has had enough time. Syracuse is ten games into its season, the leeway period is over. The good thing about the situation is Guerrier realizes that as well.
‚ÄúSometimes Coach Boeheim puts me out on the court and I don‚Äôt know what I‚Äôm doing. So obviously I got to work on that,‚Äù Guerrier said. ‚ÄúIn general, overall I think I‚Äôm getting better every day because I‚Äôm working hard.‚Äù
That hard work better start yielding results quickly. The Orange need help on the inside, specifically in the rebounding category. In every loss this year, they have been outrebounded. Guerrier can help in that area if he can manage to stay on the court. He is 6‚Äô7‚Äù and 220 lbs, which makes him the heaviest player on the SU roster. Syracuse needs his size on the boards.
If Guerrier can‚Äôt match his ‚Äòphysical talent‚Äô with some mental talent, then his situation could take a turn for the worse. It is a well-known fact that when a player gets in Boeheim‚Äôs dog house, it is nearly impossible to get out, just ask Jalen Carey, or Tyler Roberson, or any of the other countless players that have been sent there.
Guerrier isn‚Äôt there yet and probably isn‚Äôt close, but Boeheim‚Äôs opinion of a player can change instantly. If the freshman continues to underperform and hurt the team, he could be the next victim of the dog house. Is this going to happen? Probably not, but Boeheim works in mysterious ways. It would be a shame to waste such a talented player.
Yes, Guerrier has struggled to start the season and only has a few more opportunities to figure it out against easier competition before a tough ACC slate starts up. But, he‚Äôs a key player for Syracuse and has the potential to have a major impact each time he touches the court. Those preseason accolades and expectations weren‚Äôt just made up with no backing. The Montreal-native is seriously talented. The saga surrounding him might continue on, but Guerrier will prove the doubters wrong sooner or later.