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Syracuse Basketball Positional Preview: Guards

All is right in the 315 right now. Syracuse Football is surging and just one win away from being bowl eligible. The basketball team is gearing up for another season with a whole lot of hype. To continue the hype, the Fizz has been churning out content to get you ready for the season.

From our preseason awards, to projecting the starting lineups, to answering the oh so important questions, we have you covered. Now, it’s time to preview each positional group. Today we’ll analyze the guards, then the forwards later this week, and the bigs to cap it off.

We all know Jim Boeheim likes to run a tight ship and have a small rotation. Especially with a pretty thin backcourt, don’t expect too much change at the point guard and shooting guard positions. Here’s what the minutes breakdown will probably look like:

Point Guard: Joe Girard (~29), Symir Torrence (~11)

Shooting Guard: Buddy Boeheim (~35), Cole Swider (~5)

The primary guards are veterans. Everybody in Central New York knows who Joe Girard is, and everyone in the country knows Buddy Boeheim after his explosion in the NCAA Tournament last season. However, there are two new names that will sneak into the rotation in the backcourt. Here’s everything you need to know about each player.

Joe Girard

Girard is the biggest question mark with this group. Some games he is on fire and cannot be stopped, others you question why he’s still in the starting lineup. Last season regressed a bit, averaging below 10 points per game while shooting just 36% from the field and 33% from deep. He lost some minutes to the emergence of Kadary Richmond, but Richmond is no longer with the team so there is even more pressure on Girard to produce this year. It may sound crazy, but JG3 plays so much better in front of crowds. So, you could point to the empty Dome last season as a reason why he struggled. I’m not saying he is going to be Steph Curry now that the SU faithful are back in the stands, but he should be better. He needs to be better, quite frankly.

Buddy Boeheim

Buddy Boeheim. Buddy Buckets. Buddy Bullseye. Whatever you want to call him, he is the dude for Syracuse this season. The Orange lost a lot of offensive production, so Boeheim is going to have to step up in a big way. Fans remember him from averaging 25 points a contest in March Madness last season, which means opposing teams most definitely remember him. The senior will be drawing much more defensive attention, making it more difficult for him to do his thing. No one is questioning Buddy’s skills, however, there should be some worry on if he can have sustained success for a full season as the clear No. 1 option.

Symir Torrence

When you think of Symir Torrence, think about a game manager. The Marquette-transfer isn’t too flashy, but he can control the game and find his open teammates. I wouldn’t expect him to see too much time, more of a player who comes in to give Buddy or Joe a breather, or when the backcourt gets into foul trouble. Saying that doesn’t mean Torrence is a bad player, he is just the third guy in a group that is very top heavy with a coach that doesn’t go to the bench very often. Torrence has solid handles and great court vision. His shooting is still a work in progress, but he’ll be a quality option off the bench.

Cole Swider

On the roster, Cole Swider is listed as a forward and that is what he will primarily play. At 6-foot-9, he is a tad bit too big to play the two. However, the SU backcourt is very thin, especially at shooting guard. So, Swider may need to slide up to the top of the zone once in a while to give Boeheim a break. The Villanova-transfer is a lights out shooter from beyond the arc and adds a lot of size on defense. Between his primary minutes as a wing and a couple minutes of playing as a guard, Swider will most likely be playing 30-plus a game.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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