Jim Boeheim has warned us for a chaotic offseason. A swath of transfers is expected, with some already announced. So far, the core is in tact with the exception of Quincy Guerrier. The sophomore from Montreal has entered his name in the NBA draft. As we saw with Tyus Battle a few years ago, this process could end one of two ways. To stay or not to stay?
Guerrier surpassed expectations this year. As a freshman, he was a non-threat from beyond the arc and a fouling machine on defense. To his credit, he was playing through a groin injury that he claims was so painful it sometimes moved him to tears after games.
Last summer, he had surgery on the groin and worked meticulously on his shooting stroke.
The results were vivid as soon as the 2020-21 season began. While Syracuse’s best players waffled between great and horrid, Guerrier was the steady soldier. He was the undisputed MVP of the Orange through the month of December and halfway through January. Guerrier was taking and making open threes, using his physicality and athleticism for straight-line drives to the rim and protecting the basketball at one of the best rates in the country.
On January 23rd, Syracuse picked up its biggest win of the season to-date at home against Virginia Tech, and Guerrier scored 20 points. He was averaging 16.9 points per game. It was around this time that we assumed the Canadian was most certainly NBA-bound.
But the production mysteriously, yet quietly, dropped off from that point on. Guerrier surpassed 15 points only one time since the VT game (vs. UNC). His three point percentage plummeted, finishing the year at 30%. His success at the rim also decreased. Without a clear size and strength advantage, Guerrier’s abilities as a scorer suffer. He does not possess craftiness at the rim or off the bounce, and his touch is not good enough to finish over shot blockers when his layup is altered. Guerrier is 6-foot-7 and built like an Under Armor manikin; against some teams, he is physically dominant, but against elite level size and strength, he is not.
Of course, he doesn’t measure to push many people around at the NBA level. He isn’t tall or long for his position either. So he’s going to need to improve his ball skills, including his jumpshot, to succeed as a scorer. This is especially true as he approaches his 22nd birthday in May. An NBA team is not going to draft a player in their early 20’s unless they show polish, like Elijah Hughes did.
Guerrier did finish 2nd in ACC rebounding (8.8), which was a big reason he landed All-ACC 3rd Team honors, but we all know rebounding has never gotten anyone drafted; it barely managed to get Dennis Rodman drafted.
Against college basketball’s best, Guerrier didn’t look like an NBA player this season. I would expect him back in Orange next year. Guerrier should feel great about the jump he made from freshman to sophomore year, and if he can keep improving he’ll position himself for a shot at getting drafted. Right now, he’s not there.