After manifesting his shooting range and mirroring Trevor Cooney in the ACC Tournament, Syracuse Basketball’s Buddy Boeheim proved he is far from mercurial.
Two weeks ago, Buddy Boeheim‘s first three months with Syracuse Basketball were declared mercurial. After a forgetful 1-of-11 shooting (0-of-5 3PT) in his Orange debut against Eastern Washington, the freshman shot a combined 13-of-45 (28%) in Syracuse’s next 10 games. With conference play looming, most people weren’t prepared to see him log regular minutes during the impending games that would dictate the Orange’s postseason.
Syracuse’s first two conference play matchups saw Boeheim play just nine total minutes. While his minutes were inconsistent during the games that followed, the freshman scored 10 or more points on five different occasions during conference play against Pittsburgh, Miami, Boston College twice, and Louisville, all games the Orange won. Since mid-January, Boeheim has been frequently been hitting more than half of his three-point attempts, which is especially impressive when considering he’s been shooting four of them a game this season.
Including the ACC Tournament, the Orange finished their regular season by losing three of their final four games. While the Orange battled injuries and inconsistency during their final four games of the year, what remained consistent was Boeheim’s shooting. The Jamesville-DeWitt alum scored at least 11 points over his final four regular-season games, including a 20-point performance against Pittsburgh where the freshman made three three-pointers, grabbed six rebounds, and had four assists.
Before a three-year stretch that saw Trevor Cooney became the most hated non-Duke player in the Atlantic Coast Conference, he too struggled to kickoff his Orange career. Cooney redshirted his freshman year due to recognizing that minutes would probably never come behind guards Dion Waiters, Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Triche, and Scoop Jardine.
Boeheim was “supposed to redshirt” considering the talent that was seemingly better than him entering the 2018-19 season. Four months later, he stole a win for SU in Tyus Battle’s absence and kept the Orange’s March Madness hopes alive in Charlotte.
In his first year playing, Cooney only logged 11 minutes a game and hit just 27% of his three-pointers, numbers that draw comparisons to Boeheim’s first three months in Central New York. However, when analyzing Cooney’s next three years, where multiple three-pointers and 13 points a night became a commonality, the numbers are near identical to those that Boeheim put up right before and during the ACC Tournament.
Three-point shooters who hustle on both ends of the floor have dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference in recent years. Whether it be Virginia’s Kyle Guy (104 Made 3PT, 46% 3PT) or North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson (85 Made 3PT, 47% 3PT), college basketball’s best teams have the best long-range shooters.
Boeheim has a lengthy amount of time remaining at Syracuse. Considering the way his shots are falling now, the room for improvement is petrifying for those who don’t support the Orange.