The transfer portal has done a pretty big number on Syracuse basketball this offseason. Last season’s contributors such as Robert Braswell and electric freshman Kadary Richmond have slipped through SU’s hands, but the departure that may hurt the most is forward Woody Newton, who transferred to Oklahoma State back on April 16th.
Newton’s SU career is characterized by its fast start and his disappearing act afterward. In his first four appearances of the year, Newton played pretty well. The freshman tallied 15 minutes and 8 points per game, registering a career-high 22 minutes against Rider on December 5th. However, Newton played just 5 games after a December COVID absence and totaled just 14 minutes combined in those remaining contests.
The former #4 overall class of 2020 prospect in Maryland took decreased playing time hard, and it reflects in his comments surrounding his reasons to transfer.
“I feel like I lost trust there [Syracuse],” Newton said. “If I don’t have trust, we have nothing. If I can’t trust you, it was easy, to be honest. I already knew what I wanted to do.”
That thing he “wanted to do” was transfer out to escape SU’s bench. It’s anyone’s guess as to why Newton hardly played after he recovered from COVID. Maybe Jim Boeheim didn’t like what he saw from Newton in practice or wanted to ride the hot hands of his starting forwards in Quincy Guerrier and Alan Griffin.
Whatever the case may be, Newton is gone. It’s up for debate as to whether this is Syracuse’s fault or just a product of a new transfer-happy college basketball scene. Newton didn’t get what he wanted while at SU, and if he didn’t feel like he could trust Syracuse to give him what he wanted, why stay?
Back in April, Newton answered that question himself. Now it’s up to Syracuse to restore that trust in its next batch of incoming players.