Syracuse Basketball: ACC media poll disrespected center Jesse Edwards

Syracuse basketball, Jesse Edwards (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Jesse Edwards (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

I’m not a huge advocate of preseason awards and honors, but at the same time, I was really surprised when the ACC preseason media poll recently came out and didn’t give any love to Syracuse basketball seniors Jesse Edwards, a center, and Joe Girard III, a guard.

Neither Edwards nor Girard received a single vote for the preseason All-ACC first and second teams, and I simply don’t get that. I’m not saying that either Orange player will win the ACC player of the year award, although it could happen.

However, both Girard and Edwards had solid junior seasons in 2021-22, but of course, the ‘Cuse struggled as a collective unit, going 16-17 overall.

The 6-foot-11 Edwards, from my perspective, was a serious contender for the ACC’s most improved player award in his junior stanza, yet he, unfortunately, got injured this past February and missed a bunch of games in 2021-22.

Syracuse basketball coaches, players expect Jesse Edwards to have a terrific senior year.

As a junior, Jesse Edwards appeared in 24 games. He averaged 28.0 minutes, 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.1 steals and 1.0 assists per game, while hitting on an excellent 69.5 percent from the field, according to ESPN statistics.

Edwards, in 2021-22, gave the Orange a formidable offensive presence in the interior. Equally as important, he anchored the Syracuse basketball zone defense well, altering and blocking opponents’ shots, and also rebounding effectively.

Over the summer, Jesse Edwards, a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, spent time competing with the Dutch national team. He has spoken highly of his experience with the Dutch national team, and I’m sure that will only enhance his game for Orange during the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

At the Atlantic Coast Conference’s recently held media day, head coach Jim Boeheim said that Girard and Edwards, given their senior leadership and skill sets, are incredibly vital to the team’s success in 2022-23.

According to an article from SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister, Girard said in part about Jesse Edwards, “obviously he’s going to have a big year.”

"Noted Boeheim: “I think Jesse showed last year, his last seven or eight games he averaged 16 and probably 10, right around that number in the league, and I think was just starting to come into his own.”"

There are numerous talented big men suiting up in the ACC this coming term, but for Jesse Edwards not to get any consideration for the All-ACC teams in the preseason media poll is kind of comical, in my humble opinion.

Naturally, though, what matters is how Edwards and his Syracuse basketball teammates perform on the court. Over the next few months, he will have many chances to show ACC media members that he’s one of the top centers in the conference.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Projected starting rotation 2.0 for the 2022-23 season. dark