Bewildering. That’s a solid word to describe Buddy Boeheim’s career at SU. The coach’s son came in back in the fall of 2018. The Brewster Academy grad joined a talented squad featuring the likes of Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett, and Elijah Hughes. Boeheim put together a solid freshman season, scoring a shade under 7 points per game playing under 20 minutes. Though his numbers weren’t exactly Zion Williamson-like he showcased flashes of promise here and there, most notably his 20 point contribution to SU’s win over Pitt in the first round of the ACC tournament. SU fell to Baylor in the first round of March Madness, just like that it was on to next year.
In the 2019-20 campaign SU had gone through a bit of a transformation, no more Tyus, Oshae, or Frank Howard. It was time for Hughes, Boeheim and a freshman Joe Girard to show what they had. Boeheim simply balled out. The guard showed he could be a reliable scorer and a valuable asset on defense. He averaged 15 points on over 40% from the field and over 37% from the arc. Things were looking bright in Syracuse as Girard looked to be promising as well. It seemed as if SU had a sharp-shooting tandem on its hands once again.
However, we now know that really hasn’t been the case. The kid from Fayetteville has been a shell of his former self. Maybe you can blame some of that on having to deal with COVID, that certainly plays a part in this, but some of his performances have been straight up inexcusable. This season, Boeheim’s had seven games in which he couldn’t crack 30% from distance, three where he couldn’t make one. His lack of offense is definitely something to point to when discussing this team’s inability to score. That begs a question: Should he still be playing upwards of 35 minutes per game?
Not to mention there’s this kid, Kadary Richmond, that plays like the reincarnation of Michael Carter-Williams every time he’s on the floor. Richmond obviously can’t shoot the three either, but he turns defense into offense and that’s what this team needs right now.
Let’s take a look at the minutes Coach Boeheim distributes between Syracuse’s guards:
29.5 mpg – Joe Giard III – 10.5 ppg/1.5 spg/.358 FG%
35.9 mpg – Buddy Boeheim – 14 ppg/1.4 spg/.376 FG%
21.5 mpg – Kadary Richmond – 6.8 ppg/2.1 spg/.470 FG%
Keep in mind that in those 21.5 minutes Richmond receives, he’s 3rd in steals in the ACC, 32nd in the country. Seems like throwing him some more playing time might help this defense at least. Going by the numbers, all signs point to Richmond earning a spot in the starting five, however, Coach Boeheim has voiced his fear of whether the Brooklyn Native can handle it. That’s a respectable concern, especially coming from one of the greatest basketball minds to surface the Earth. Sure he might not be ready for the minutes Buddy receives, but the freshman still deserves more than he’s getting.
It should look something like this:
25 mpg – Joe Giard III – 10.5 ppg/1.5 spg/.358 FG%
30 mpg – Buddy Boeheim – 14 ppg/1.4 spg/.376 FG%
30 mpg – Kadary Richmond – 6.8 ppg/2.1 spg/.470 FG%
Richmond deserves more minutes, that’s the bottom line. If Joe and Buddy continue to rule the floor for around or upwards of 30 minutes each night, this team will continue to struggle.