Just add fuel to the fire. Quincy Guerrier isn’t coming back to Syracuse if and when he bows out of the NBA Draft process. Instead, he’ll transfer, making it five from last year’s roster and seven departed when you factor in Marek Dolezaj and Alan Griffin turning pro.
A lot of people assumed with last year’s starting and backup small forwards gone, Guerrier would return and flourish with, potentially, an increased role on the offensive end. But that’s a risk Guerrier was unwilling to take. If NBA teams don’t show him love it will be because his game, as it stands today, doesn’t transfer to the pros well. Guerrier needs to prove he can create his own shot.
The Montreal native is 6-foot-7, and yet he was most effective under the basket. To call Guerrier the best rebounder SU had last season is far from an understatement. That won’t be the case at the next level when effort can’t erase that degree of a height mismatch.
It’s time for Guerrier to shoot. That’s hard to believe for the Syracuse fans who were promised a shooter when he came in, and stirred in their seats while he hit just 3/24 in his freshman season. But Guerrier will have to switch positions at the next level. He’ll have to move to small forward from the four, and he will still be undersized in his new role. That’s why he needs to be a threat from deep. A new NCAA squad will give him more freedom than Boeheim ever will from beyond the arc, and allow him to create his shot off the dribble, which Boeheim never did.
The consensus around the fanbase was that Guerrier would reap the benefits of an increased offensive role in his junior season with the Orange. But that’s all contingent on how effective five-star Benny Williams will be. It seems hard to believe two star wings can coexist in Boeheim’s system to the point where they both turn pro, and both will be thinking about the NBA next season. For reference, Syracuse last had two forwards drafted in the same year in 1986 (Rafael Addison in the second round and Wendall Alexis in the third round).
If you have to go back to when there were seven rounds in the NBA Draft, the odds aren’t great. It hurts right now, but Syracuse fans should applaud Guerrier for reading the writing on the wall. He’s a good player, and like any other good player he has a responsibility to himself to find the best place for his game to blossom. Syracuse could never be that place.