Syracuse Basketball: New ‘Cuse big man could be ‘menacing rim protector’

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

A national writer recently published a piece where he discussed transfers coming on board around the Atlantic Coast Conference ahead of the 2022-23 season, including for Syracuse basketball.

The Orange, like many other teams in the ACC and around the country, will have a vastly different roster in the coming stanza, as players on the Hill and elsewhere utilize the transfer portal to find more minutes on the court.

For the ‘Cuse, it has several veterans returning from the 2021-22 term, along with rising sophomore forward Benny Williams, a six-member 2022 recruiting class and transfer Mounir Hima, a 6-foot-11 center who spent two years at Duquesne and then elected to make a move to the Orange.

Hima, a native of Niamey, Niger, redshirted as a freshman at Duquesne and has three years of eligibility remaining. He along with incoming three-star freshman Peter Carey is expected to serve as the primary back-ups at center for the ‘Cuse in 2022-23, with rising senior Jesse Edwards the returning starter.

Transfer Mounir Hima could be a strong addition to the Syracuse basketball zone.

A season ago, when the Orange endured its first losing campaign under head coach Jim Boeheim in his 46 years guiding the ‘Cuse, the team was fairly dreadful on defense.

I’m cautiously optimistic that the zone will prove better in 2022-23, even if the roster possesses a lot of new pieces. For one, as some experts have said, the 2022-23 roster should be more athletic.

For Duquesne during the 2021-22 stanza, Hima averaged 9.6 minutes, 1.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest. According to SU Athletics, he started the final five games of the 2021-22 campaign.

Edwards saw his 2021-22 season get cut short when he suffered an injury this past February. Assuming he’s fully healthy, I’d imagine he will receive the bulk of the minutes at center this coming term.

However, Edwards also has a tendency to get into foul trouble, so Hima and/or Carey could earn a decent amount of run.

"To that end, in a recent article, Isaac Trotter of 247Sports wrote in part that “Hima looks like a nice depth addition for Jim Boeheim. The Duquesne transfer has the length to be a menacing rim protector at the back of Syracuse’s zone defense.”"

As a member of the 2020 recruiting cycle, Hima averaged 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per encounter in his senior campaign for the St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J., which went 30-4 overall and was nationally ranked by ESPN, according to

For his senior-year performance, Hima was named to the All-Big Man first team.

It’s tough to gauge at this juncture how large of an impact Hima can make on the Hill, because his minutes at Duquesne were so limited.

That being said, I for one feel that Mounir Hima could carve out a solid role for the Orange, particularly in the Syracuse basketball 2-3 zone.

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