December 2, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

ACC Offseason Refresh – #6 Syracuse

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Jim Boeheim is working overtime for a late career swan song. The soon-to-be 76-year-old’s tenure in the ACC has not lived up to its billing, falling short of the dance 4 of the last 7 seasons (they would’ve been an NIT team last year), and landing no better than an 8-seed the years they made it (yes, 2016, I know). But with four starters back and a fresh talent influx, the Orange have some high expectations this year.

Coach: Jim Boeheim; 964-399 in 44 Seasons Overall, all at Syracuse. 145-85 (70-55) in 7 seasons in the ACC

2019-20 Record: 18-14 (10-10); T-6th in ACC

2019-20 KenPom Efficiency:

National: AdjO: 112.8 (21st of 353)
AdjD: 99.6 (116th of 353)
ACC: AdjO: 106.3 (3rd of 15)
AdjD: 103.0 (9th of 15)

 

Roster Roundup

Departures:

G Brycen Goodine (Transferred to Providence)
23 G, 8.7 mpg, 1.9 ppg, 0.7 apg, 13% 3P%
G Howard Washington (Transferred to South Alabama)
20 G, 7.4 mpg, 1.2 ppg, 1.2 apg, 15% 3P%
G Jalen Carey (Transferred to Rhode Island)
2 G, 11.5 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 0.5 apg, 0% 3P%
SF Elijah Hughes (Turned Pro)
32 G, 36.7 mpg, 19 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 34% 3P%

Returners:

PG Joseph Girard III (SO)
32 G, 33 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 3.5 apg, 32% 3P%
SG Buddy Boeheim (JR)
32 G, 35.6 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 37% 3P%
F Quincy Guerrier (SO)
32 G, 20.3 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 13% 3P%
F Robert Braswell (JR)
7 G, 6.9 mpg, 1.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 67% 3P%
PF Marek Dolezaj (SR)
32 G, 33.3 mpg, 10.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 51% FG%
C Bourama Sidibe (SR)
32 G, 24 mpg, 6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 69% FG%
C Jesse Edwards (SO)
21 G, 6.9 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 79% FG%

Additions:

G Kadary Richmond (4-star FR)
G/F Alan Griffin (JR Transfer, Illinois)
28 G, 18.1 mpg, 8.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 42% 3P%
PF Woody Newton (3-star FR) 
F/C Frank Anselem (4-star FR) 
C Jon Bol Ajak (3-star RS FR)

*Projected starters in bold

Outlook

The Orange had a small exodus from their bench, with Jalen Carey, Brycen Goodine, and Howard Washington all leaving (Robert Braswell was on the fence but seems fit to return for now). With that said, none were projected starters, though a couple could’ve been valuable reserve options. Elijah Hughes is off to the NBA as well.

They return four starters, however. Third year Buddy Boeheim and sophomore Joe Girard are the big 1-2 punch in the backcourt (15 and 12 ppg respectively), and I like Quincy Guerrier long term as a combo forward. Marek Dolezaj is going to be a senior and their primary front court option; they have four other big men on the roster but all have questions. Senior Bourama Sidibe still foul prone, 2nd years Jesse Edwards and Jon Bol Ajak maybe be good in reserve but probably aren’t ready for major minutes yet, and true freshman Frank Anselem probably needs a year to get comfortable anchoring the zone.

In the backcourt, Illinois transfer Griffin will provide an immediate replacement for Hughes at the 3-spot. He’s not quite the scorer but is definite P5 starter quality. 4-star rookie Kadary Richmond is going to be the lone true guard option they’ll have off the bench, meaning depth at the 1-3 could be a concern if there are any injuries. Boeheim has gotten in the habit of playing his starters marathon minutes, however, routinely really only going 6 deep.

The 2-3 Zone is still lacking a good defensive 5-man presence (I think Dolezaj would be better suited as a 4, though makes things work as a 5 as best he can), which limits their defensive upside unless a light comes on for senior Bourama Sidibe or one of the youngsters surprise. But offensively they should still be dangerous and once again be in the NCAA discussion come March, even if unlikely to have Top Tier upside.