The guard inventory for Syracuse basketball is getting much smaller, and that’s nothing unexpected according to head coach Jim Boeheim.
Syracuse basketball came into the 2019-20 campaign with five primary guards on its roster. After the first few games, starters Joe Girard III, a freshman, and Buddy Boeheim, a sophomore, received the vast majority of the minutes. Plus, the duo likely possesses two additional years together in the starting backcourt.
That left a trio of guards – junior Howard Washington, sophomore Jalen Carey, and freshman Brycen Goodine – minus much of an opportunity to earn decent run, although Carey suffered an unfortunate injury early in the term.
With head coach Jim Boeheim sticking to his somewhat usual script of a short rotation, and those three guys all hopeful for more playing time in the future, it came as no shock to me that Goodine has moved on to Big East Conference member Providence, while Washington and Carey have reportedly sought their own transfers.
Boeheim himself isn’t surprised by these developments, according to a story from the AP’s John Kekis. “There’s going to be changes. We knew that,” Boeheim says in the piece. “Whenever you have five guards you’re going to have change, so nothing surprising there. This is all expected.”
The article also notes that JB doesn’t “anticipate any other changes” to the line-up. “We’ll see if there will be additions,” Boeheim says. “You never know.”
As it presently stands, factoring in these defections, the Orange will have three guards next fall. They are Girard, Buddy Boeheim, and incoming freshman Kadary Richmond, who could conceivably get a solid amount of action in his first stanza as a result of the ‘Cuse cast make-over.
Syracuse, which is apparently eyeing the transfer market itself, will maintain a core of probably around 10 scholarship guys in 2020-21, not including any potential new commitments.
The status of redshirt junior forward Elijah Hughes, who many projects will bolt for the pros, is a bit up in the air, at least logistically, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“That now won’t be decided until who knows when,” Jim Boeheim tells the AP. “Everything’s going to be on hold for at least a month, maybe two. We’re hopeful in two months things will look a lot different, but right now you just don’t know.”
On the really modest chance that Hughes returns for his final season, that would provide a huge boost to the Orange. The ‘Cuse certainly shouldn’t bank on it, however, prior to Hughes unveiling his choice, there is a sliver of optimism.