Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage

Hoops

Wait, so Bourama is Back?

The standing ovation at the end of the Brown win was a nice moment for Bourama Sidibe. After a year and a half of setbacks and tough luck, the sixth year senior made it back to the court on knees that have only failed him in the past. The question is will Sidibe stay on the floor long enough to carve out a role for himself. After the game, that concern was underscored.

“He’s just barely starting to practice,” Head Coach Jim Boeheim said. “I wanted to give him a couple of minutes in there. He’s healthy, but his strength… he hasn’t done anything in a year and a half now. I think it will take him at least a couple of weeks before he could get his legs under him to really be a factor.”

Health is always the biggest variable with Sidibe. Both of his knees suffered injuries over his career at SU. One of the setbacks came just days before the season opener against Lafayette. Last year, he was held to just two games played after injuring his knee just minutes into the season. The sad truth is that he will probably never be the same as he was in 2019-2020 when he played and started in all 32 of Syracuse’s contests, averaged nearly eight rebounds and six points per game. Then again, he might not need to be the same.

Depth never hurt any team, and Sidibe is at a point where he shouldn’t be thinking about starting again. The goal should be to back up starter Jesse Edwards. Frank Anselem is anchoring the role fairly well with about 11 minutes per game, 2.5 points, and 2.5 rebounds. While numbers aren’t everything, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Then there’s the defense variable. Sidibe used to be a strong defender in the middle of the Zone. If he can rotate quick enough, he would be a massive defensive upgrade to Anselem. Boeheim has said over and over again this season that Anselem is not closing out effectively in the corner.

Don’t forget about rebounding. The Orange are last in the ACC in rebounding margin. Sidibe’s 7.6 rebounds per game in 2020 led the team that year. In fact, Syracuse had only one player surpass that rebounding production since 2017 (Quincy Guerrier grabbed 8.4 rebounds per game last season.) If Sidibe can at all improve the team’s rebounding woes, then it’s worth experimenting with 10 minutes per game, just to see how his knees hold up.

Remember, this is basically fantasy basketball. None of this matters if health remains a problem. But Syracuse is 6-5 with losses to VCU and Colgate. They have nothing to lose. Besides, Sidibe did so much to get back. He deserves a shot to break through the rotation.

To Top