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Syracuse Basketball: Center Jesse Edwards is not planning to come back

Syracuse basketball, Jess Edwards (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Jess Edwards (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball senior center Jesse Edwards is not planning to return to the Orange for a fifth year in the 2023-24 season, according to a source with direct knowledge.

The 6-foot-11 Edwards, who hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands, has the option to play a fifth year of college basketball granted by the NCAA amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m still working to determine what Edwards’ future plans will entail, but at this point, my source says Edwards is not planning to come back to the Hill for the 2023-24 stanza.

Jesse Edwards, over the past two seasons with the Orange, has made tremendous progress in his development as a talented big man on both ends of the court. He was in the running for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s most improved player award as a junior in 2021-22.

Then, this past season as a senior in 2022-23, Edwards was named to the All-ACC third team as well as the league’s All-Defensive unit.

Jesse Edwards, a senior center, is not planning to return to Syracuse basketball next term.

Per ESPN statistics, in 2022-23, when the ‘Cuse went 17-15 overall, Edwards played in all 32 games, averaging 32.6 minutes per encounter. He averaged 14.5 points, 10.3 boards, 2.7 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals a game, while connecting on 59.2 percent from the field and a solid 72.9 percent from the charity stripe.

A lot of credit goes out to Edwards’ position coach, Syracuse basketball assistant coach Allen Griffin, for his work with Jesse Edwards over the last few years, as this young man evolved into one of the best centers in the ACC.

With Edwards not expected to return, as it stands now, the Orange will have three centers on its 2023-24 roster, although the ‘Cuse certainly could bring on board another center via the NCAA’s transfer portal.

Current Syracuse basketball centers are sophomore Mounir Hima, freshman Peter Carey and 2023 three-star commit William Patterson out of The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J. Carey, who only played in three games for the ‘Cuse in 2022-23, is expected to take a medical redshirt for the most recent campaign.

I think that Hima, Carey and Patterson all have longer-term potential, but without Jesse Edwards in the line-up, the center spot will be a question mark for Syracuse basketball, unless the coaching staff brings in a veteran big out of the portal.

Some national analysts and scouts have discussed the Orange as a possible contender for Hunter Dickinson, who recently entered the transfer portal following his junior season at Big Ten Conference member Michigan.

Dickinson, a 7-foot-1 center who was an All-American as a freshman, is rated the No. 1 transfer out there, per several recruiting services. There are connections between Dickinson and the Syracuse basketball coaching staff through his Washington, D.C.-based AAU program, and he also held a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse while starring for the legendary DeMatha Catholic in high school.

I’m a big, big fan of Jesse Edwards, and I’m wishing him nothing but success in the future.

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