#25 Syracuse Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Syracuse Orange
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #5 ACC
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Once again Syracuse entered March on the bubble and once again, they not only made the NCAA Tournament, but made a nice little run once there. Coach Jim Boeheim’s team occasionally will struggle in ACC play, but the Orange’s zone defense is difficult to prepare for and Coach Boeheim knows how to take advantage of that in March. Looking ahead to 2021-2022, Syracuse returns just two players who saw any real playing time a year ago. But this group still has plenty of talent and should be ready to remain right in the mix for a spot in the tournament.
2020-21 Record: 18-10, 9-7
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jim Boeheim
Coach Record: 982-408 at Syracuse, 982-408 overall
Key Departed Players:
Quincy Guerrier, Forward, 13.7 ppg
Alan Griffin, Forward, 13.3 ppg
Marek Dolezaj, Forward, 9.8 ppg
Kadary Richmond, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Robert Braswell, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Woody Newton, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Buddy Boeheim, Senior, Guard, 17.8 ppg
Joseph Girard III, Junior, Guard, 9.8 ppg
Jesse Edwards, Junior, Center, 1.9 ppg
Frank Anselem, Sophomore, Center, 1.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Jimmy Boeheim, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Cornell
Paddy Casey, Senior, Guard, DII Transfer
Niko Ruffin, Freshman, Guard
Cole Swider, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Villanova
Symir Torrence, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Marquette
Benny Williams, Freshman, Forward
Buddy Boeheim and Joseph Girard III are back to form a dynamic backcourt duo. Boeheim led the Orange with 17.8 points per game and knocked down 38.3 percent of his 201 attempts from beyond the arc. He will get some looks for ACC Player of the Year. Girard is a dangerous outside shooter too and the point guard is always a threat to shoot the ball when defenders give a little too much respect to his drive and dish game. Marquette transfer Symir Torrence and freshman Niko Ruffin will provide much of the depth on the perimeter, but Syracuse will have Boeheim and Girard on the floor as much as possible. The return of Bourama Sidibe will help the new look frontcourt. Sidibe played in just two games last season due to injury, but started all 32 games in 2019-2020 when he averaged 6.0 points and 7.6 rebounds. Sidibe should start at the five spot and three newcomers will likely compete for the starting role at the two forward positions. Jimmy Boeheim joins the family business at Syracuse after spending three seasons at Cornell. The last time the Big Red played in 2019-2020, Boeheim averaged 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. Cole Swider comes from Villanova where he proved to be a very consistent three-point shooter last year. Benny Williams is a four-star recruit and the athletic forward is another big wing who can handle and shoot the ball. This team may not go too deep, but Coach Boeheim should have a solid group of six or seven players and that is enough for Syracuse to be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament yet again.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.8 (82nd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.1 (173, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (168, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (47, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.5 (65, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.9 (118, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 78.2 (16, 2)
Rebound Margin: -2.5 (265, 12)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (58, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (49, 4)
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#27 Benny Williams