Syracuse might’ve missed out on Seth Towns and Patrick Tapé, but there are still plenty of players in the transfer portal. On Tuesday, another big name entered the market, and is now reportedly interested in the Orange. Alan Griffin, a guard who played his first two years at Illinois, told Jeff Goodman he is considering SU along with seven other schools.
Griffin is now one of, if not the most, highly coveted transfers still available and would be a huge get for the Orange. Here are three reasons why he needs to be at the top of Jim Boeheim’s list.
Griffin would seamlessly slide into the SU rotation. He is a bigger guard at 6’5, skilled on the offensive end and perfect for the top of the zone. Snagging Griffin would give Syracuse a versatile rotation of guards, with two drivers who could create in him and Kadary Richmond, and two deadeye shooters in Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard. In Champaign, Griffin played the role of “microwave,” giving the Fighting Illini scoring and energy from the bench. He could do the same for Syracuse or start if Girard isn’t cutting it on the defensive end.
2- Offensive Skill Set
At Illinois, Griffin displayed an impressive bag of tricks when given the chance. He was extremely efficient for the Fighting Illini, shooting 48% from the field and a team-best 42% from three. He uses his length to get to the basket, and is a confident spot up shooter. He also doesn’t need the rock to be successful offensively. Griffin was primarily an off-ball guard for Illinois, but has the dribbling skills and quickness to play the point if needed.
Griffin spent two years playing in some of the toughest venues in college basketball. Last season, he had some of his best games against top competition. He dropped 17 in Michigan State’s Breslin Center, and three days later scored 16 against Purdue, both teams with elite perimeter defenders. Griffin played with an unshakable confidence in these situations, which is impressive for a sophomore coming off of the bench. No offense to Towns or Tapé, but the pressure of playing in the Ivy League isn’t comparable to a contest in Mackey Arena. After enduring a grueling Big Ten schedule, Griffin will immediately be ready for ACC competition, where the teams at the bottom of the standings aren’t necessarily as competitive.
The only real question surrounding Griffin is his maturity. Last year, he was ejected and given a two-game suspension for stomping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic. However, this is an outlier in Griffin’s otherwise smooth college career, and hopefully isn’t an issue moving forward.
Griffin is an Ossining, NY, native who comes from a basketball family. His dad Adrian played in the NBA and now coaches for the Raptors, his sister Aubrey plays for UConn, and his brother AJ is a five star prospect in the class of 2021 committed to Duke. Given that fact, Duke might be the front-runner for Alan’s commitment as well. But on the flip side, transfers are looking to find schools that will allow them to showcase their skills, and playing time is not guaranteed when top-five recruiting classes are brought in every year. Syracuse would be a great fit for Griffin, about three hours away from home with a system perfect for his game and a reputation for success with transfers. Let’s just hope Griffin wants to trade his Illini orange for Syracuse Orange.