Orange Fizz

BB Recruiting

Syracuse Is Finding The Perfect Roster Balance

Photo Courtesy of SU Athletics

North Carolina may have “only” gotten to the Sweet 16 in March Madness, but that program’s roster was about as well-balanced as it could have been. The Tar Heels had veteran, homegrown players in RJ Davis and Armando Bacot, transfer portal experience in Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram, and a new kid on the block in freshman point guard Elliot Cadeau. That’s what you want to see in college basketball in 2024, and Syracuse is starting to piece it together.

Despite lost talent like Maliq Brown, Quadir Copeland, Judah Mintz, and Justin Taylor, SU still enters next season with a few guys who have been around the program for years. One of them, JJ Starling, is a local kid who found his offensive game as the season hit its stride. Chris Bell also settled into his role much more efficiently this year. Adrian Autry gave the sharpshooter a significantly longer leash than Jim Boeheim did, and it seemed to really boost his confidence. There are your veteran, homegrown players.

The transfer portal gives and takes. It took a lot from the Orange right out of the chute, but now it’s starting to give. Jyáre Davis is a pure wing scorer who can attack the basket, which felt like something Syracuse lacked last season. Eddie Lampkin Jr. has big game experience and Colorado and provides an opportunity to bring the program another thing it was missing- big man stability. And who knows who else might come over the next few weeks. There’s your transfer portal experience.

The incoming recruiting class isn’t exactly a large one, but there are some studs heading into the program, both of whom are top-100 recruits. Donnie Freeman has had some outlets list him as five-stars, and his dynamic ability at the four has as good as guaranteed him a spot in the starting lineup (possibly why Brown left?). Elijah Moore isn’t as highly-touted, but is still a versatile guard who should provide key minutes. There are your new kids on the block.

That is how a roster needs to be built in this day and age of college basketball. It’s impressive that the Orange won 20 games with no big-time freshmen and no true veterans (Starling, Naheem McLeod, and Kyle Cuffe transferring in hit that marker). Now that Syracuse has a good mix of the three, it’s hard to not be encouraged by what Autry is building.

This is not a declaration that SU is national championship or even Sweet 16 bound come March 2025. But despite the losses, Orange fans should be extremely pleased with how next season’s roster is forming.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.


Copyright © 2022 Orange Fizz

To Top