On Friday, former Syracuse forward Woody Newton transferred to Oklahoma State. Syracuse has now lost Kadary Richmond, Alan Griffin, Marek Dolezaj, John Bol Ajak and Newton from last season’s team. Dolezaj declined an extra-year of eligibility and is graduating, while Griffin decided to turn pro. Besides the transfers of Newton, Bol Ajak and Richmond, forward Robert Braswell is still in the transfer portal. Meanwhile star Quincy Guerrier is still mulling over a decision to enter the NBA Draft or return to SU. Next season, Syracuse will have an abundance of talent to replace.
Throughout his season at Syracuse, Newton played relatively regularly in non-conference play, before seeing nearly no playing time in Atlantic Coast Conference play. When he was on the floor, the freshman was a solid contributor, shooting 39% on three-point attempts. While Newton was still learning the intricacies of the 2-3 zone, he spaced the floor on offense. The talented forward also never tried to shoot too much, and only took open looks.
But once the calendar turned to 2021, Newton played in just five games for a grand total of 14 minutes. With Griffin and Braswell ahead of him on the depth chart, there wasn’t much opportunity for Newton to suit up. Many of Syracuse’s late season games were also must-win for the Orange, where it may not make sense to implement a freshman into the rotation who hadn’t played for most of the season.
However, if Newton had been playing more throughout the course of the year, he may have been better positioned to contribute down the stretch. While he was learning on defense, he rarely made mistakes that are common amongst freshmen. At 6-foot-8, Newton also possessed the length that Syracuse lacked, to cover the corners in the 2-3 zone.
Newton was listed as a three-star prospect coming out of high school, according to 247Sports. The Baltimore native was listed as the fourth best player in Maryland, the the No. 30 power forward in the 2020 class.