He might not be the most highly-touted player in the transfer portal, but the most predictable to find his way in an Orange uniform. In fact, the name on the back of the jersey is already on the press, it’s the number that’ll have to change. It’s Cornell guard Jimmy Boeheim.
Boeheim transferring to Syracuse is a great story, but an even better fit. This is more apparent with question marks around the return of Alan Griffin, Quincy Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj. Three players who accounted for nearly half of SU’s scoring this past season.
Let’s assume all three are gone next year. In that scenario, Boeheim fits in great, either as a two-way starter or an option off the bench. The senior adds experience, height, and a scoring weapon to a team that needs a player with these exact attributes. Boeheim is 6’8”, grabbed six rebounds a game in the ‘19-’20 season and scored nearly 17 points in that same year.
The Fayetteville native is an invaluable piece, with multiple college seasons and starts under his belt, unlike new SU additions Symir Torrence and Cole Swider. These two transfers played a combined 32 minutes on average, while Boeheim eclipsed that mark in over 70% of games a couple years ago.
The only concern surrounding Boeheim is he hasn’t played collegiate basketball in two years, with the Ivy League cancelling the ‘20-’21 season.
Also, he has yet to shoot over 35% from distance in any single year. But he adds a transfer that can make an immediate impact, rather than waiting for the 45-year head man to declare “he is ready”. Oh, and he’s the coach’s son and already has a close connection with Buddy Boeheim.
Let’s play the most logical of the hypothetical game. Guerrier comes back and so does Griffin. Jimmy Boeheim still provides depth in SU’s frontcourt.
The senior is a proven scorer, unlike Swider (six points per game), Torrence (three points per game) or even Benny Williams (at the college ranks of course). The pressure is also eased off Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard, especially if those two need rest. It’s a necessary point of emphasis because recent transfer Woody Newton and newly announced Seton Hall guard Kadary Richmond weren’t able to provide a consistent scoring threat off the bench last season.
There are plenty of holes Jimmy Boeheim can fill, as a player who can space the floor, shoot the ball, play defense and make an immediate impact in his 5th year. If SU can secure Boeheim, it should. But it’s all about the fit and who chooses to come back next season. With spots filling up, Boeheim won’t transfer to Syracuse if playing time isn’t on the horizon.