In the last handful of years, there have been several players who have decided to take their talents elsewhere after playing at Syracuse. Going back to the beginning of the ACC era and starting with Kaleb Joseph in 2015 to Frank Anselem this season, significant contributors have left SU prematurely. But why?
We at The Fizz have done some investigative research to find that the answer only boils down to one thing. They were not that good. This comes with the news Brycen Goodine, who spent one season at SU (2019-20), is moving on after two seasons at Providence.
Look at who else has left the Orange. The aforementioned Joseph went to Creighton and was never heard from again. BJ Johnson and Ron Patterson also left that same offseason as Joseph, and although Johnson was successful at LaSalle and then in the G-League, it was not at a high-major college program.
Then there’s Taurean Thompson, who started at center his freshman season, left after his freshman year for Seton Hall, did not play there, and then transferred again to Detriot Mercy last season. He was never the same after he left Syracuse.
Let’s go to the next year. Matthew Moyer transferred after the 2018 run to the Sweet 16. Moyer had a couple of nice moments in Orange, but missed his entire freshman season with an injury, and ended up playing for Vanderbilt and Geroge Washington after he left SU. His senior year at GW was solid, but they are not the caliber of program Syracuse is.
Let’s keep going. After 2020 Jalen Carey and Goodine left the program. The latter is already searching for another new home and the former has started a total of three games in two seasons at Rhode Island. That has not worked out either.
Last one. 2021. The big exodus. Kadary Richmond, Quincy Guerrier, Robert Braswell, and Woody Newton all said sayonara to Jim Boeheim and the rest of the staff and their teammates.
There has not been a smither of information about Newton, who left for Oklahoma State, played fewer minutes per game, and averaged fewer points per game than he did at Syracuse.
Let’s move on to Braswell. This is a tricky one. A fan favorite, Bobby was the perfect role player for SU in 2021 in its run to the Sweet 16 but decided he wanted a bigger role elsewhere. He transferred to Charlotte and had more success than he ever did at SU.
But, with Guerrier and Alan Griffin departing from the 2021 squad, there was a clear role as the most experienced forward, and playing time to be had. Braswell would have been useful to Boeheim in 2022 and averaged eight points in 20 minutes per game on a 17-14 Charlotte team. Nothing special.
The final 2. One head-scratcher and one crystal clear motive. Let’s start with Quincy Guerrier. The Canadian left the Orange to show NBA scouts he could step out and shoot and had a more complete game.
At Oregon, he averaged almost four fewer points, three fewer rebounds, and played six and a half fewer minutes per game than at Syracuse the year before. Not just that, his three-point percentage only marginally increased by less than two percent while his overall field goal percentage decreased by seven percent.
Guerrier misjudged what his situation at Oregon would be, and ended up in the same spot he was at SU, not in the NCAA Tournament, and more importantly, not on NBA draft boards.
Last, but certainly not least, is Kadary Richmond. There is an exception to every rule. Richmond is that exception. He is undoubtedly good enough to play at Syracuse. He is good enough to be the starter, and maybe even the best player on a good Orange team. But Boeheim’s loyal to Joe Girard III, and Richmond left.
That’s understandable from the player side. Fans may not have been happy, may still not be happy, but that’s reality. Every player listed in this article besides Kadary Richmond either went down a level of basketball or got worse when they left SU.
There’s a reason every player transfers in or out from every program. Even though a season with his sons may have failed, maybe Jim Boeheim knows what he’s doing when it comes to letting players go, and bringing them in. His track record is nearly flawless.