Syracuse Basketball: So far for 2 transfers who left SU, grass not greener

Syracuse basketball has had its share of players transfer out of the program through the years, but none seemed to pain our hearts as much as Quincy Guerrier and Kadary Richmond, both bolting after last season’s run to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Of course, with the new NCAA transfer portal rules and players no longer needing to sit out a year after moving to a new team, we were all bracing for players leaving more regularly.

But, we really liked these two guys. I was surprised and sad to see them go.

Guerrier went to the Pac-12, to play for Oregon.

Richmond to Seton Hall, in the Big East.

Quincy Guerrier and Kadary Richmond leaving were big losses for Syracuse basketball.

The Syracuse basketball program was highly invested in Quincy and his steady growth as a forward. Another in a line of recruits from Canada, the 6-foot-8 Guerrier fit the ‘Cuse forward mold.

Sleek and athletic, he fought hard for rebounds, was expanding his game and seemed to bleed Orange. For two years he played major minutes for Syracuse basketball. He was a raw freshman averaging 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, shooting just 3-for-24 from 3-point land. Then, as a sophomore, he started all 28 games last year, averaged 13.7 points, 8.4 boards and improved to 23-for-74 from three, before being named All-ACC Third Team.

In Kadary, we saw the promise of him perhaps becoming the next electrifying Syracuse basketball point guard. Big, skilled, perfect at the top of the zone, an uncanny ability to get past defenders and create memorable plays. Standing 6-foot-6 and from Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the 6th man his freshman year last season, his minutes going up as the year went on and he averaged 6.3 points, 3.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and almost 2 steals per game.

Unfortunately, the general reasoning for their departures was Quincy wanted to shoot more and play from the perimeter, while Kadary wanted to start and play “more freely.” Maybe there were chemistry issues, or concerns about losing playing time to other players headed to the ‘Cuse.

So, how is that working out for them – and their new teams – so far?

We have been following their results unlike any other transfers. Mostly because the players were so entrenched in the Orange game plan last season, seemed full of promise and now have this automatic opportunity to play for their new teams. Did they make the right decision? And what are we missing (or not missing) with them gone?

Let’s look at the stats.

Quincy Guerrier at Oregon:

In his first four games for the Ducks, he’s averaging 25 minutes of playing time per game.
So far Guerrier is 4-for-19 from three-point land (21%).
Quincy is averaging 6.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and shooting an overall 31.4% from the field.
Oregon is unranked, at 3-1 on the season.

– In Guerrier’s first game vs. Texas Southern, Guerrier played 26 minutes, was 2-for-8 from three, scored 8 points and had 12 rebounds.
– Next vs. SMU, he played 25 minutes, was 1-for-3 from three, had 9 points, 6 rebounds.
– In his third game vs. BYU, Quincy played 30 minutes, was 1-for-3 from three, had 8 points and 5 rebounds.
– And on Nov. 22, against Chaminade, he played 19 minutes, was 0-for-5 from three (1-for-9 from the field), for 2 points and 8 rebounds.

Shooting more doesn’t seem to be working for Guerrier. He’s still the same general force on the boards (which Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim always wanted him to concentrate on), but his production is down. Fewer minutes and less scoring so far vs. his sophomore campaign at Syracuse.

Kadary Richmond at Seton Hall:

In Kadary’s first four games, he’s averaging only 18 minutes of playing time per game for the Pirates. Kadary is 0-for-3 from 3-point range, averaging 4.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and shooting an overall 33.3% from the field.
Seton Hall is 3-1.

– In Kadary’s first game vs. FDU, he played 15 minutes, had 4 points, 6 boards and fouled out.
– In game 2 vs. Yale, he played 22 minutes, scored 13 points, had 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
– Next, he faced No. 4 Michigan and played 20 minutes without scoring. He had 3 turnovers.
– And on Nov. 22 against Ohio State, Kadary played 17 minutes with 2 points, 4 fouls and was 1-for-7 from the field.

Far below the productivity or playing time than what we may have been expecting. But as Boeheim said when Kadary left for The Hall, they seemed logjammed at his position.

So, Quincy and Kadary are missing the Carrier Dome re-opening to fans, for this?

As an aside, I really felt bad that Kadary’s one year with the Orange happened when fans were unable to attend games at the Dome due to covid protocols. I would think the kid would have really enjoyed making the Dome rock.

Both Quincy and Kadary have indeed started in all four of their respective new team’s games, perhaps part of the promise they were made. But particularly in Richmond’s case, it seems like he could be moved to the bench if things don’t pick up for him soon.

I sincerely hope things turn around for both players, and they are good enough, so I believe they will. They are learning new programs, new offensive and defensive schemes, new coaching staffs and new teammates. Once they are comfortable they should pick up the productivity.

But at the same time, so far I think this further proves that coach Jim Boeheim gets the most out of his players. He has an eye for talent, where to play them, and how much to play them.

Not to say Boeheim hasn’t made some mistakes with personnel. But for the most part over so many decades of Hall of Fame coaching, the players sticking with the program have had better opportunities to become attractive to NBA scouts in Boeheim’s system, than if they think the grass is greener somewhere else.

In many cases, Boeheim and Syracuse basketball actually make players appear to have more potential than they end up showing elsewhere, or in the pros. And the Orange wins more regularly, and advances further into the tournament, with less blue-chip talent, than most programs.

In hopes that Quincy and Kadary do pick things up, here is a shortlist of Syracuse transfers who fared well after leaving the Orange (stats courtesy

Tony Bland to San Diego State, 2002-03 (16 ppg)
Earl Duncan to Rutgers, 1990-91 (14.6 ppg)
Keith Hughes to Rutgers, 1990-91 (19.6 ppg)
BJ Johnson to LaSalle, 2017-18 (19.1 ppg)
Bobby Lazor to Arizona State, 1998-99 (17.4 ppg)
Rock Lloyd to Long Beach State, 1999-2001 (17.4 ppg)
Rich Manning to Washington, 1992-93 (17.3 ppg)
Louie McCrosky to Marist, 2008 (12.4 ppg)
Matt Roe to Maryland, 1991 (17.8 ppg)
Glenn Sekunda to Penn State, 1995-96 (13 ppg)
Mike Sheehey to St. Bonaventure, 1983-84 (13.5 ppg)
DeShaun Williams to Iona, 2005 (14.8 ppg)