Syracuse Basketball: Benny Williams is an under-the-radar breakout player

Syracuse basketball, Benny Williams (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Benny Williams (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

After not playing a whole lot in his freshman campaign for Syracuse basketball, forward Benny Williams looks to bust out with a stellar sophomore season.

Some national experts believe that can happen for the 6-foot-8 Williams, who is from Bowie, Md., and was a top-flight prospect on a national scale in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

One of those pundits is college basketball insider Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. He recently published a piece where he named 20 under-the-radar breakout players across the country for the upcoming 2022-23 stanza.

To be on this list, a player couldn’t average double-figures in points during the most recent season. Rothstein, I’m pleased to say, included Benny Williams in his article.

Syracuse basketball forward Benny Williams is aiming for an excellent sophomore year.

The 2022-23 campaign for the Orange is less than a month away. We’ll have to wait and see what head coach Jim Boeheim’s starting rotation ends up being to commence 2022-23, but I’m in the camp that thinks Williams will prove one of the team’s two starting forwards at the onset of the upcoming term.

Interestingly enough, Rothstein writes in part about Williams that “Jim Boeheim needs mileage out of this former Top-50 recruit if Syracuse is going to finish in the middle of the ACC standings.”

Middle of the ACC standings? Sigh.

Rothstein adds that “Williams’ ability to be a regular producer is a major storyline to watch for the Orange in 2022-23.” I concur with Rothstein regarding that statement.

On the present roster, Syracuse basketball has two returning starters in guard Joe Girard III and center Jesse Edwards. Guard Symir Torrence gives the Orange three seniors within its 2022-23 line-up.

But beyond that, the ‘Cuse roster is extremely young, including a six-member 2022 class and a big-man transfer with three years of eligibility remaining.

It’s true that Benny Williams, as a sophomore, is also an underclassman. But he also possesses a full year in the Syracuse basketball system. I’m optimistic that he will fare well in 2022-23, and Boeheim said some positive things about Williams this past spring.

In 2021-22, when the Orange sported a sub-par 16-17 overall record, Williams only got 10.8 minutes per game, while averaging 1.9 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest.

His athleticism is undeniable, and Williams showed flashes of his potential in 2021-22, particularly when the ‘Cuse fell to top-10 Duke on the Hill relatively late in that stanza.

Not too long ago, Rothstein described Williams as one of his 10 break-out players within the Atlantic Coast Conference for 2022-23. Now Rothstein says that Benny Williams is an under-the-radar breakout player, nationally speaking, prior to 2022-23.

I hope that Rothstein is correct on both of these prognostications.

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