The mass exodus from the Syracuse basketball program makes it hard to entertain the possibility that Alan Griffin will return to college after declaring for the NBA Draft. The junior left Illinois for Syracuse to show his scoring versatility, which he did in just one year on the Hill. The only question is was he consistent enough.
The answer is absolutely not. Griffin disappeared in the most crucial time, the NCAA Tournament. That’s a league-wide turn-off. Right now, scouts likely see Griffin as they do many other power-five players, too often a dud to be a stud.
That being said, Griffin made the right decision to declare for the draft and look for an agent. With the revised eligibility rules, players can hire agents, participate in the combine and still return to college. This is an opportunity for Griffin to gauge how the league feels about him and his current game, and what he needs to work on in order to boost his draft stock.
As of last year, Griffin was the only three-level scorer SU had. The main problem is that he didn’t attack the rim consistently. Instead, per Jim Boeheim’s press conference rants, Griffin would settle for jump-shots, falling into his old habits he picked up with the Illini.
The other note teams might give Griffin for 2022 is his size. It goes hand-in-hand with being more aggressive inside, but Griffin has the frame to build more muscle. At just 6’5″ and 190 lbs, it’s not likely that Griffin will turn many heads in the combine.
So Griffin will be back and it will be a win-win. Syracuse needs him for the scorer he was supposed to be last season. Griffin needs to prove his worth with Elijah Hughes-like consistency in order to be a true-contributor to SU and a prospect on the national radar.