For Syracuse basketball, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. There have been newcomers, departures and a couple of surprises sprinkled in. If you‚Äôve lost track of what the team is looking like heading into next season, I don‚Äôt blame you.
Let‚Äôs break all the moves down and analyze where things stand for the program.
Two transfers have hurt the most for Syracuse so far. Freshman Kadary Richmond (G) transferred to Seton Hall, and freshman Woody Newton (F) departed for Oklahoma State. The loss of Richmond definitely stings after he played a major role off the bench in 2020-2021, and Woody Newton‚Äôs talent is still undeniable given that he was the #4 overall class of 2020 prospect in Maryland.
At guard, Syracuse now looks to Marquette sophomore guard transfer Symir Torrence (6‚Äô3 200 lbs). Torrence has good ability – he earned a four-star rating as a prospect in the class of 2020 – but he only played 13 minutes per game across 24 appearances last year. If Torrence can come in and be a sparkplug like Richmond was, it‚Äôll go a long way in deciding how deep into the season SU plays.
At the forward position, Villanova junior transfer Cole Swider (6‚Äô9 225 lbs) and incoming freshman Benny Williams (6‚Äô8 180 lbs) join senior Cornell transfer Jimmy Boeheim (6‚Äô8, 215) in the position mix. Swider‚Äôs defense is a bit of an unknown quantity, but he‚Äôs a career 36% three-point shooter with perennial improvement on his resum√©. Williams comes out of IMG Academy ranked as the 26th overall prospect in the nation, so his considerable talent is definitely intriguing. Boeheim didn‚Äôt get the chance to play for Cornell last year after the Ivy League canceled Winter sports, but he shot 43% with 16.7 PPG for the Big Red in 2019-2020. Boeheim‚Äôs addition brings experience and more proven play than either Swider or Williams.
It‚Äôs yet to be seen how any of Syracuse‚Äôs newcomers will spell minutes for its departed starters who possessed different skillsets. Marek Dolezaj and Alan Griffin both announced their intentions of going pro on April 7th and April 12th, respectively. The combination of Swider, Williams, and Boeheim will likely see minutes in tandem to replace Dolezaj and (potentially Griffin’s) minutes.
At the end of the day, Syracuse returns enough talent (Boeheim, Girard, Sidibe/Edwards at center, likely Griffin and Quincy Guerrier) to avoid needing substantial contributions from every one of its new additions. However, solid work from any one of SU‚Äôs new transfers would go a long way in ensuring SU‚Äôs competitiveness in next year‚Äôs ACC and validate lofty early predictions for Jim Boeheim‚Äôs squad.