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Who Can Syracuse Turn to at Center?

Courtesy Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse has gone almost the entire season without playing a center. Marek Dolezaj has done his best at locking down the paint without Bourama Sidibe, but at 6-foot-10, 201 pounds, there’s not much the senior can stop. 

And recently in a cameo, head coach Jim Boeheim said that Bourama Sidibe is likely done for the rest of the season. If that’s the case, Sidibe will have played just 15 minutes this season, scoring three points. Without Sidibe, Syracuse will likely continue to run Dolezaj at center, with little contribution from the bench.

But on Saturday, Boeheim inserted John Bol Ajak into the game late in the first half. That was the first time Bol Ajak has stepped on the court since Dec. 19 against Buffalo. While Boeheim has said in the past that Bol Ajak wasn’t ready for game action in the past, there was a key reason he played against the sharp-shooting Eagles.

There will likely be games heading into the final weeks of the regular season where Syracuse needs a center who can step outside of the paint and contest jump shots. Boeheim seems to think that Bol Ajak is the best player on the roster to do that. 

But if he’s going to see the floor more often, Bol Ajak can’t receive a technical like he did in his two minutes of action against Boston College.

Of course the other center that could make an impact is Jesse Edwards. While he only played one minute against BC, Edwards has generally been the first post bench player Boeheim turns to. After playing 23 minutes against Miami, it seemed like Edwards would be in line for an expanded role. Instead, the sophomore’s played just five minutes since then.

While Frank Anselem seems to have the most potential of any center on the roster, he hasn’t played since Dec. 12, in the first matchup with Boston College. The freshman has dealt with injuries throughout the season.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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