Syracuse Basketball: Projected starting rotation for the 2022-23 season

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Joe Girard III

To say the least, Girard was a prolific scorer in high school during his days with Glens Falls High School in Glens Falls, N.Y.

Like much of the 2021-22 line-up, Girard did have his ups and downs as a junior, however, if Boeheim puts him at shooting guard in his senior year, I think Girard is going to play really, really well.

I honestly don’t understand why he gets so much grief from a contingent of fans on social media. It’s overblown, in my humble opinion. Sure, Girard isn’t perfect, and he’s been known to make untimely mistakes here and there.

From my perspective, though, when he’s playing point guard, he’s not playing his “natural” position. He’s a shooting guard at heart, I believe, and he’s a lethal one at that.

In 2021-22, Girard averaged 34.1 minutes, 13.8 points, 4.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.8 turnovers per affair. He hit on 39.2 percent from the field, an excellent 40.3 percent from deep, and a tremendous 88.2 percent from the charity stripe.

With Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider no longer in Orange uniforms, opposing defenders will absolutely key in on Girard when he’s out on the perimeter.

And while the ‘Cuse may not be as good from beyond the arc this season as it was in 2021-22, I feel that Girard does have reinforcements from 3-point range, including Mintz, Taylor and the 6-foot-7 Bunch, who played as a senior for the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah.

Girard certainly can facilitate for others, evidenced by the 4.2 dimes per contest that he averaged a stanza ago. But I think the team will be most beneficially served by the 6-foot-3 Torrence and the 6-foot-3 Mintz primarily commanding the point, freeing up Girard to step into his shots from the shooting-guard spot.

Jim Boeheim did mention at least once not too long ago that he thinks the 6-foot-1 Girard is well-suited at shooting guard, but whether the Syracuse basketball head coach inserts Girard into the starting line-up in that role remains to be seen.

Regardless of who starts and in what positions they start, I think the core guard trio of Girard, Torrence and Mintz is a really intriguing one, and the 6-foot-6 Taylor is more than capable of competing at shooting guard as well.

I really love Copeland’s promise, but I feel like, as far as major minutes are concerned, he’s the odd man out in the guard group for 2022-23.

Some of my fellow ‘Cuse fans have opined that they think the 6-foot-6 Copeland may redshirt. I’m not so sure about that. We’ll have to wait and see.