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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Jesse Edwards

This one is easy peasy. The 6-foot-11 Edwards was in strong contention to possibly pick up the Atlantic Coast Conference’s most improved player award in 2021-22, but then he unfortunately got injured in February and missed the rest of last season.

Still, save for too frequently being in foul trouble, Edwards went full beast mode as a junior. In 2021-22, he appeared in 24 games and logged 28.0 minutes per affair.

Edwards generated averages of 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, an awesome 2.8 blocks, 1.1 steals and 1.0 assists per contest, while connecting on an impressive 69.5 percent from the field but just 59.8 percent from the charity stripe.

Since he’s regularly hacked in the interior, Edwards definitely has to improve his free-throw shooting percentage in 2022-23, as he could routinely pick up a few additional “free” points.

Jim Boeheim acknowledged more than once that Edwards getting injured was a huge blow to the team’s chances at reaching post-season play, whether in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT.

I totally agree. Edwards could impact the game on both ends of the floor, and much like I feel Torrence changed the complexion of the Orange’s play when he was on the floor, obviously Edwards did the same thing in anchoring the zone defense and averaging a dozen points per contest on offense.

Hopefully, Edwards will be at 100 percent health when the 2022-23 stanza begins later this year. He’s primed for another solid campaign as a senior, and he, Girard and Torrence will need to provide veteran leadership for a roster that includes six freshmen and a sophomore in Williams.

Now, should Edwards encounter foul issues in any one particular battle, and that’s likely to happen based on prior results, the ‘Cuse does have other options at center, but I also believe that Syracuse basketball is a bit thin at this position, as far as depth is concerned.

I would imagine the primary back-up will be Carey. Don’t let his national rankings in 2022 fool you. This young man can ball. He is, though, a newbie, and freshmen can sometimes struggle adjusting to the college game, especially in the rugged ACC.

Brown isn’t as tall as Carey, and I feel like he’s more of a power forward, but Brown is also physical and strong. I could see him maybe getting a couple of spot minutes here and there at center.

And then there’s Ajak. In his first two seasons in Central New York, he’s averaged about five minutes per contest, both as a freshman and as a sophomore.

Boeheim did note on a couple of occasions in 2021-22 that Ajak was faring well in practice sessions, and hopefully that extends into the upcoming campaign.

Since he’s more of a veteran than any of the 2022 commits, I could see Ajak playing a little bit of center, if needed. But, by and large, Edwards is going to get the lion’s share of minutes at this position in 2022-23.

Well, that’s a wrap. I’m curious what my fellow Syracuse basketball fans think of these starting line-up projections for 2022-23. What did I get right, and most importantly, what did I get 144 percent wrong?

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Dishing out player grades, good and bad, for 2021-22. dark