Syracuse Basketball: Center Bourama Sidibe returning big-time for Orange

The decision by senior center Bourama Sidibe to come back to Syracuse basketball for another season is a really encouraging development for the Orange, and it will provide depth at the center position for the ‘Cuse in the 2021-22 campaign. Mike Waters of Syracuse.com first reported on the Sidibe news.

In the most recent term, Sidibe unfortunately suffered a knee injury in the team’s season-opening win over Bryant, and he only ended up playing in two contests throughout the entire stanza.

Sidibe had the option to return for a fifth year because the NCAA is giving all college basketball players an extra campaign of eligibility amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

If fully healthy, and I really hope that he is, Sidibe will look to build upon the stellar performances that he provided Syracuse basketball toward the conclusion of his junior season in 2019-20.

Naturally, it remains to be seen whether the 6-foot-10 Sidibe will have to shake off any rust in the upcoming term, but he’s a veteran of the Orange program and knows the ‘Cuse system, including its 2-3 zone, well.

Syracuse basketball got a boost with Bourama Sidibe coming back.

Recent reports indicate that sophomore center Jesse Edwards is returning to the Hill for his junior stint. So if the Orange has both Edwards and Sidibe available to anchor the zone defense, that’s a positive step forward.

Redshirt freshman center John Bol Ajak is in the NCAA’s transfer portal, along with freshman combo guard Kadary Richmond and redshirt sophomore forward Robert Braswell.

Senior power forward/center Marek Dolezaj, who filled in for Sidibe at the starting center spot during 2020-21, can come back for a fifth year as well, although a lot of chatter online speculates that he is likely leaving for the professional ranks.

That leaves freshman center Frank Anselem. I have long felt that Anselem has a ton of upside, but whether he’s staying or departing Central New York is to be determined.

If Dolezaj and Anselem move on, then ‘Cuse coaches can certainly mine the transfer market for another big man. Regardless, Edwards and Sidibe, again if fully healthy, provide two solid players at center for the Orange.

Sidibe, as a junior, showed what he is capable of doing, while Edwards came on strong at the end of 2020-21. A lot of Syracuse basketball fanatics want the team to find another high-quality center, and I’m cool with that, but this position can be credible in the upcoming campaign.