Syracuse Basketball: Buddy Boeheim, No. 349 to pre-season All-American

Syracuse basketball senior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim didn’t arrive on the Hill for his Orange hoops career as a highly ranked prospect coming out of prep school.

Some ‘Cuse fans out there thought he got a chance to suit up for the Orange, at least in part, due to his father, Jim Boeheim, being the team’s legendary head coach. I sincerely hope that such a line of thinking has dissipated.

The 6-foot-6 Boeheim had a strong showing during his sophomore year. Then, last season, after struggling through a bout of Covid-19, Boeheim proved lights out both in the ACC Tournament and amid the squad’s nice run to the Sweet 16 in the Big Dance.

Now, as Syracuse basketball gets set for the 2021-22 stanza in the near future, Boeheim is getting all kinds of pre-season accolades – and deservingly so.

We penned a column not too long ago about Boeheim checking in at No. 22 nationally on a list of the top-100 players in college basketball for the 2021-22 term, as put together by Jonathon Warriner, a writer, analyst and bracketologist for MakingtheMadness.com. But there’s more.

Syracuse basketball senior guard Buddy Boeheim is expected to shine this year.

Athlon Sports recently published its three pre-season All-America teams ahead of 2021-22. Boeheim is on the second unit, and he’s grouped with a bunch of exceptional players on these three squads.

The first team consists of Duke freshman forward Paolo Banchero, Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn, Indiana sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, UCLA junior guard Johnny Juzang and Gonzaga junior forward Drew Timme.

The second squad encompasses Boeheim, Oral Roberts junior guard Max Abmas, Gonzaga freshman center Chet Holmgren, Purdue sophomore guard Jaden Ivey and Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell.

Finally, the third group is St. John’s junior wing Julian Champagnie, Villanova senior guard Collin Gillespie, UCLA junior wing Jaime Jaquez Jr., Vanderbilt junior guard Scotty Pippen Jr. and Purdue senior forward Trevion Williams.

Boeheim, in my opinion, should be named to the pre-season All-ACC first team when that group is unveiled. Frankly, I’d be shocked if he isn’t.

For some context, Boeheim competed for the powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., before joining the ‘Cuse. As a member of the 2018 recruiting class, Boeheim was rated a three-star prospect by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.

That composite ranked him No. 349 overall within the 2018 cycle, as well as the No. 77 shooting guard.

As a sophomore for Syracuse basketball, Boeheim averaged more than 15 points per contest. Last year, as a junior, he tallied nearly 18 points a game.

Now, Boeheim is a pre-season All-American. Any and all talk of him only being on the Orange roster because of his dad’s role as head coach is, to put it bluntly, non-sense.