Syracuse center Bourama Sidibe and forward Marek Dolezaj have each gained over 20 pounds, Jim Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard. That’s good news, especially after a summer that didn’t go as planned for anyone.
For Dolezaj, the pandemic may have helped his weight gain, since all he could do was eat and lift, while staying at his girlfriends house in Missouri.
Sidibe has clearly bulked up in the shoulders. It was the second thing I noticed when I looked at this photo, after Mason Campbell’s awesomeness.
Why should we care about this so much? Well, If you…
a) Are six-foot-nine or above
b) Are 230 pounds or above
c) Can rebound and make layups
d) Played Syracuse in a college basketball game last season
You probably dominated the Orange in 2018/19.
It was demoralizing for everyone. Bourama Sidibe was overmatched inside against any and all formidable bigmen. Marek Dolezaj couldn’t help. Neither could Jesse Edwards. Jim Boeheim was asked what Sidibe and Dolezaj could do to get better inside: “gain 40 pounds,” Boeheim replied.
At the time, that was a pretty hopeless outlook.
It became pretty easy to predict SU’s success: if the opposing team had a solid five, it was going to be a difficult night. Syracuse was 331st in defensive rebounding. I’ll forget some, but the list of centers who torched the Orange for eye-popping statlines kept growing like Pinocchio’s nose: Mike Watkins, Yor Anei, Luka Garza, John Mooney, Vernon Carey, Garrison Brooks.
Those are some great players, I’m aware, and the trend got much better in the final games of the season. But in the big picture, there was something missing in the paint. Hopefully for Syracuse, that something was 20 or so pounds.