How next year looks for Syracuse basketball

With Malachi Richardson now officially gone and off to the NBA Draft, here is a player-by-player breakdown of who is coming and going from the Syracuse basketball program as the 2016-17 season approaches. Who’s LeavingMichael Gbinije – The fifth year senior was the catalyst all season for the Orange, averaging a team high 17.5 points per game. Following the season, Gbinije signed with Roc Nation Sports, the agency owned by rapper Jay-Z. His combine performance brought upon rave reviews, and Adam Zagoria reports that he has met with Indiana, Golden State, San Antonio, Washington, Houston, and Dallas. Most NBA mock drafts project him getting picked in the second round. Malachi Richardson – His second half heroics against Virginia in the Elite 8 caught the eye of many NBA scouts, and Richardson took advantage of the new NBA draft rules that allow potential college players to “test the waters” of the draft process. Malachi has officially signed with an agent, bringing his one year SU career to a close. With a skillset as flashy as his haircut, ESPN’s Chad Ford thinks the freshman may get drafted somewhere between picks 12-20 in the first round.Trevor Cooney – He leaves behind one of the most confusing legacies in recent memory. Cooney’s offensive inconsistencies frequently placed a cloud over the heart, hustle, and toughness he brought to each game. The numbers are on his side, as he ranks 29th in school history in all-time scoring, third in 3 pointers, and ninth in steals. He signed with an agent and is pursuing a pro career. Kaleb Joseph – Following a shaky freshman year, Joseph was looking forward to better days in the Salt City. Before this season, Jim Boeheim said that “Kaleb’s made the biggest offseason improvements physically of anybody that I can remember.” Unfortunately, the former ESPN Top 100 recruit saw his playing time dwindle from 27.3 minutes per game to 6.7 this season. He opted to transfer and will join the Creighton Blue Jays, where he will have two years of eligibility left. Christian White – The Section V alum was a standout at Aquinas High School in Rochester, and spent his first year of college basketball at Monmouth before transferring to the Orange as a walk-on. The graduate transfer will use his final year of eligibility to play for PACE University next year.Chinonso Obokoh – Another Section V alum, Obokoh played for Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester before accepting a scholarship offer from Syracuse. The 6’9’’ junior big man never found a way into the frontcourt rotation in his time at SU, and will transfer to St. Bonaventure. Since Obokoh graduated in 3 years, he will be immediately eligible to play for the Bonnies next season as a grad transfer. Who’s StayingDaJuan Coleman – Coming into Syracuse in 2012 from Jamesville-DeWitt, Coleman was New York State’s Mr. Basketball and a top 10 recruit in the nation. Between then and now he has been to two Final Fours and dealt with excruciating injuries. Though he has often provided solid minutes, he is yet to live up to the hype he had coming in. When next year rolls around, Coleman will be 24 years old in a season that will define his college career. Tyler Roberson – The power forward enters his senior campaign coming off a year filled with highs and lows, from grabbing 20 rebounds against Duke to finding a place in Boeheim’s doghouse. Roberson’s tenacity on the boards was a strong indicator of the team’s performance in games this year. He will certainly be in the starting lineup next season, providing a strong veteran presence down low.Tyler Lydon – An expert in blocking shots and growing mustaches, Lydon played a big role as a freshman. With a strong motor and Basketball IQ, just about everyone knows that role will only increase next year. Because of the lack of big men, Lydon was often tasked with playing center by default. Next year he should have many more chances to play where he fits more naturally, at both small forward and power forward. Frank Howard – The freshman point guard progressed much better this year than stat sheets would suggest, and ‘Cuse fans are hoping for a sophomore breakout campaign similar to what Michael Carter-Williams did a few years back. Neither played heavy minutes in year one, both players have tall frames with long arms, and their exquisite passing abilities make up for sub-par jump shooting. While it can’t be expected that Howard becomes a superstar immediately like MCW, he will certainly play a big role next year and likely compete to be the starter at point. Who’s ComingPaschal Chukwu – The 7-foot-2 center sat out last season after transferring from Providence. His tremendous size is perfect for manning the middle of the 2-3 zone, hopefully altering shots in the same fashion that Baye Moussa Keita, Fab Melo, and Rakeem Christmas have done in years past. It remains to be seen just how ready he is, but the year of practice under his belt certainly helped. Expect him to play many minutes down low. Tyus Battle – A highly touted recruit, Battle will likely spend most of his time on the floor at shooting guard. He comes in as a shifty scorer who can shoot outside as well as finish at the rim. At 6-foot-6, his size allows him to play small forward, but his ball handling is good enough to play point guard. No matter what the position, he is sure to make the Carrier Dome erupt.Matthew Moyer – The incoming freshman brings his talents as the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Connecticut. A 6-foot-8 small forward, Moyer will be almost surely be a fan favorite because of his hustle and athletic ability. Moyer will presumably be in the rotation coming off the bench.John Gillon – The graduate transfer from Colorado State is immediately eligible, adding some depth to a thin backcourt. Playing point guard, Gillon is listed at 6’0 but even that height seems generous. Despite his lack of size, he provides stability and another scoring threat. Gillon committed to the Orange earlier this month after cancelling visits with Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Starter or not, expect him to see many minutes next season.Taurean Thompson??? – The 6’10’’ prospect is said to be choosing between Syracuse, Michigan State, and Seton Hall. Syracuse has extensively recruited Thompson, but every time it seemed like he was ready to commit the Orange could not lock him up. SU still hopes that the big man will sign, but as one of the most indecisive recruits in this year’s class, who knows what will happen. Keith Bremer is a 2015 graduate of Newark High School and is currently attending Syracuse University and is a contributor to FingerLakes1.com. Comments and feedback on this article can be posted below or directed to Keith at [email protected].

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