The basketball season is a month away, but that won’t slow anyone down from starting to speculate. This tweet especially did not help.
But it did provide a sense of clarity.
It’s no surprise that Buddy Boeheim is locked into a starting spot after his torching tournament run from last season. The junior looks to spearhead the Orange past the Sweet 16, a spot he’s reached twice, but never eclipsed. Boeheim’s consistently improved every season on the stat sheet. He’s worked his way up to 18 points per game from a mere seven in ’18-’19. Efficiency is also marquee. The 6-foot-6 guard has never shot over 39% from distance, a mark that will increase his draft stock tenfold, and one if Boeheim can hit, could take Syracuse into the top 25 sooner than many think.
This is where questions start piling up. Kadary Richmond’s departure speaks levels to Girard’s indisputable spot as the starting point guard. But what happens without the Glens Falls native. The Orange have to assure Girard is in a position to succeed because if not, transfer Symir Torrence will have to play out of position, or it’ll be point guard by committee.
Swider starting at the “3” is not much of a shock. He’s a knockdown three-point shooter who can occupy the bottom wing of the zone with his 6-foot-9 frame. Swider is a perfect Quincy Guerrier replacement with a focus on outside shooting over securing the painted area. If the Villanova transfer does his job from behind the arc, he could complete a lethal shooting trio of guards.
If there’s one position group up for grabs, and might very well need the first couple games as a litmus test, it’s the power forward spot. Jimmy Boeheim and five-star recruit Benny Williams are the two vying for it. Boeheim flaunts the experience edge, while Williams adds fuel to the high ceiling conversation. The Cornell transfer is another three-point weapon that also darts to the bucket with the best of college competition. The true freshman is still tweaking his shot, but adds that element of unknown to how he’ll transition into the college game.
Either way, these two will see plenty of time, but Coach Boeheim will do his due diligence to see who deserves the coveted starting job (one that’s even more valuable in CNY with how few times the coaching staff shies away from the starting five in big moments).
Finally, Edwards gets the nod at center, an afterthought of a position for Syracuse. No matter who patrols the middle, they won’t be featured in the offensive scheme much and instead, are tasked with creating for others and anchoring the zone. After the end of last season, the junior showed off his improved mobility and instinct to stay out of foul trouble. Plus…
This is a great sign for Syracuse.
Overall, the lineup looks experienced and poised to leave a dent in the ACC. With more depth and fewer distractions, the Orange shouldn’t have many holes in their system. It’s now all about playing as a collective group and consistency each and every game.