We’ve just about hit the midway point of the season for Syracuse. With some players being surprisingly strong and some others falling a bit short, it’s time to give out some grades, here is SU’s report card:
Elijah Hughes: A
SU’s frontman is having an incredible season. Hughes supplies the team with 19.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 4.2 APG while shooting 39.3%. The New York native isn’t just having a good season by SU’s standards. The forward is putting up numbers that are unmatched by any other payer in the country. Hughes has exceeded any expectations that SU fans had set for him. His scoring ability is something that was questioned coming into this season, those question marks have surely been wiped away.
Quincy Guerrier: C+
While yes, SU’s newest Canadian import is quite easily the team’s best rebounder, he hasn’t proven much outside of that. Offensive production simply isn’t there for Guerrier, scoring under 6 PPG, and distributing the ball poorly. There were high expectations set for the forward. Some NBA mock drafts had him being selected in the late first-round back at the beginning of the season. He hasn’t met those expectations and hasn’t been all that productive when on the floor. Good news is, he’s got plenty of time to grow into a star. Only a freshman, if he decides to stay all 4 years, he could become a great player thanks to his athletic frame.
Buddy Boeheim: A
After last season, SU fans were excited to see what this season had in store for their favorite coach’s son. Buddy Boeheim blew just about every expectation put of the water. Currently averaging, 15.9 PPG and shooting 39.6% from distance, Boeheim is leading the ACC in made 3-pointers per game and is second in 3-point field goals percentage. He’s grown into one of the most reliable scorers on the floor at any given time and has given Orange fans nothing but hope and excitement for his future.
Joe Girard III: B+
There was a load of hype surrounding the New York state all-time leading scorer at the High School level. He’s come to the college with a winning attitude and a whole lot of potential. His current stat line, 12.2 PPG and 3.6 APG is good, but not great. Regardless, having a freshman point guard that’s able to put up decent numbers in what was the toughest conference in college basketball just last year, is something to be proud of. Girard supplies a lot but hope for the future and already provides evidence that he can be a lights out shooter.
Bourama Sidibe: D+
Bourama Sidibe hasn’t been the productive big man the SU basketball program has needed for a little while now. He gets beat by opposing centers almost every time out and is a liability on the glass. For Orange fans, it’s been a matter of waiting until Jesse Edwards gets his shot to play meaningful minutes instead of Sidibe. He continues to prove that he lacks the skills to perform on a winning basketball team at this level.
Marek Dolezaj: A-
He’s been the fan-favorite for three years now, Dolezaj is putting together a great season. Three double-doubles this year while averaging nearly 10 points and 7 rebounds have been exactly what this Syracuse team needed. He’s been a solid scoring option for when the team needs a bucket and a guy Coach Boeheim can rely on to make a smart play down the stretch. Now receiving 34 minutes a game in his Junior season, Dolezaj has grown into a very important role for a team that now stands as 4th in the ACC.
With plenty of games left to play leading up to March, SU has had its fair share of good surprises. If the Orange can continue to get the same production out of Hughes, Boeheim, and Dolezaj, and get more from Sidibe and Guerrier, they’ll be in a good spot come tourney time.