The early departures of Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant, coupled with the graduations of C.J. Fair and Baye Keita, put SU in a precarious position heading into next season.
Two highly touted freshmen will be making Syracuse home (check out Kaleb Joseph here and catch Chris McCullough in the Jordan Brand Classic Friday at 7 on ESPN2), but they’ll be joining a roster full of spare parts with a glaring lack of established star power. Hopefully Joseph and McCullough can step up and give the team a pair of stars down the road but if not, the Orange will have at least 3 more cracks at it with the following year’s recruiting class.
Small forward Malachi Richardson is the jewel of the 2015 crop, power forward Tyler Lydon has been on board for a while as well, and last night shooting guard Franklin Howard signed on as well.
This upcoming year could be a transitional one for Syracuse, one in which the Cuse will likely battle all year just to make the NCAA Tournament. But two years from now they could very well be right back at the top of the heap, thanks to an influx of top tier talent and the fact that Rakeem Christmas (the only senior on the 2014-2015 roster) should be the only player they lose.
Jim Boeheim could potentially craft a super young, super talented starting five of Joseph-Howard-Richardson-Lydon-McCullough and back them up with a veteran second unit of Gbinije-Cooney/Patterson-Johnson-Roberson-Coleman/Obokoh.
I know it’s ridiculous to project that far ahead, and even more ridiculous to envision Boeheim starting 3 freshman and 2 sophomores, but the point is that help is on the way. There are going to be plenty of tough moments in SU’s second season in the ACC, but the hope of rising to the top in Year 3 should help ease the pain.