When Quincy Guerrier came to the Hill from Quebec, Syracuse fans expected immediate production out of the four-star. He showed glimpses of his potential as a jolt-piece off the bench. Guerrier averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, which is nothing to scoff at.
But it’s only fair to wonder what those numbers would have looked like if the groin injury hadn’t plagued him all season. He told syracuse.com, “I was crying in bed because it was really bothering me.”
Now that the Canadian is healthy, the two indictments of his game could be resolved.
First, Guerrier was advertised as a three-point shooter. Even though fans knew he was playing through a groin injury, the severity was unknown. As a freshman Guerrier shot just 12.5% from range, but the sophomore will likely get much better looks this year with full mobility.
Second, the primary reason Jim Boeheim had to limit him to a bench role was conditioning. Guerrier could not run the floor for nearly 40 minutes a game like Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard and Elijah Hughes. The consensus was that he wasn’t conditioned well enough coming out of high school. While that may have been true to a degree, it’s only fair to blame some of that on the groin injury.
The only thing stopping a healthy Guerrier from averaging close to a double-double this season is the guys around him. He will likely be limited to a bench role once again, with Alan Griffin stepping into the small forward role, and Marek Dolezaj locking up the power forward slot. Guerrier’s best chance of significant playing time is early foul trouble for Bourama Sidibe.
However, Boeheim will have to find playing time for Guerrier. Even at 6’7”, he is the most skilled rebounder the Orange have, and can only come into his own on the floor.