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Syracuse Basketball’s Underutilized Gem

Courtesy of Inside The Loud House

Through 15 games, the 2021-22 campaign has been an utter disappointment for Syracuse basketball. It seems that even the bubble can’t save the Orange now. This crop of newcomers hasn’t made this roster into what was advertised by Jim Boeheim as the best group of shooters he’s ever had. Cole Swider was supposed to make an immediate impact, he still can’t find a consistent shot and consistently looks lost of defense, Benny Williams hasn’t been nearly the one-and-done talent some were categorizing him as, and Symir Torrence has shown us all he really offers is speed and occasionally ball-handling. Jimmy Boeheim has been good, but he still lacks the athleticism that would take this team leaps and bounds above mediocrity. 

As for the guys who returned, it seemed like Joe Girard was poised for a comeback year. The guard was scoring big numbers at the beginning of the season but has really cooled off and become the same old Joe who’s mightily streaky. Buddy’s numbers look great, but what they don’t show you are his struggles with consistency. He’s averaging 18.6 ppg, but you never really know if he’ll give the team 27 or 6. That proves to be a huge issue when the rest of the team is incapable of picking him up.

The only guy Syracuse fans can be unequivocally pleased with, is Jesse Edwards. Last year, Edwards sat behind Marek Dolezaj pretty much for the entire regular season, until finally being granted a few minutes against UNC And Clemson in the final two games of the season in which he showed everyone he should’ve been there all along. There was skepticism surrounding the Dutch big coming into this season, but by now, he’s certainly squashed it. Edwards is averaging nearly 12 ppg, 10 above last year’s 1.8 ppg. He’s shown he has an offensive skill set he can use to beat even the tallest of trees in the post such as Auburn’s 7-1 Walker Kessler. He showed out in the Battle 4 Atlantis in which he started a double-digit point streak that stretched 6 games, and has shown he’s a stout defender, averaging 3 bpg, and how about his game against Miami:

With an inconsistent Boeheim duo and underperforming supporting cast, it’s time Edwards gets his due and becomes a larger option for this team. With the roster, the Orange toss out every few days, the near 7 footer is the only answer to inconsistent shooting.

When Buddy or Jimmy don’t have it, instead of letting Girard and Swider jack up missed threes, why not let Edwards go to work in the paint? High percentage looks are what make a good offense, right? Let the big do what he’s good at. Feed him on the pick and roll, give him the ball in the post and even draw plays up for him! If Syracuse keeps going back to the same game plan every single time out, it’s going to continue to receive negative results.

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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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