I’m excited about how the Syracuse basketball 2023-24 roster is shaping up.
A few days ago, the Orange landed a commitment from Florida State transfer Naheem McLeod, a 7-foot-4 sophomore center who officially visited the Hill a couple of weeks ago. His commitment provides additional depth and stability for the ‘Cuse at the center position for next season.
Syracuse basketball coaches had been mining the NCAA’s transfer portal this off-season to hopefully pick up another center to help offset the loss of senior Jesse Edwards transferring to West Virginia.
It still remains to be seen whether freshman point guard Judah Mintz will remain in the 2023 NBA Draft process or return to the Orange for his sophomore season. Some media reports had suggested that the ‘Cuse coaching staff, depending on what Mintz decides, may have looked to add another guard for the 2023-24 stanza.
To that end, this past Thursday, Kyle Cuffe Jr., a redshirt freshman guard at Kansas, said he would transfer to Syracuse basketball. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Cuffe, who is from Harlem, N.Y., was a four-star prospect in the 2021 cycle out of the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J.
By and large, the Syracuse basketball roster for the upcoming term is set, and I’m intrigued by it. Of course, 2023-24 will be the first season that Adrian Autry is at the helm, after he replaced the retiring Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim.
The Syracuse basketball 2023-24 roster is likely almost complete.
We all know that the Orange has struggled the past two stanzas, sporting just a 33-32 overall mark and missing the NCAA Tournament in each season. So will the preseason expectations ahead of 2023-24 be relatively low for the ‘Cuse?
Perhaps. I would be surprised if the Orange garners any preseason top-25 votes in the major polls. I also envision the ‘Cuse being forecast as a middle-of-the-pack Atlantic Coast Conference squad when ACC media members unveil their preseason predictions.
To me, though, while it’s an unknown how Autry will fare as a head coach, and Syracuse basketball has undergone a sizable roster makeover this off-season, there is a lot to like with this 2023-24 line-up.
Here’s how the roster looks:
J.J. Starling (Notre Dame freshman, transfer)
Chance Westry (Auburn freshman, transfer)
Justin Taylor (SU freshman)
Quadir Copeland (SU freshman)
Kyle Cuffe Jr. (Kansas redshirt freshman, transfer)
Benny Williams (SU sophomore)
Maliq Brown (SU freshman)
Chris Bell (SU freshman)
Naheem McLeod (Florida State sophomore, transfer)
Mounir Hima (SU sophomore)
Peter Carey (SU freshman)
William Patterson (SU 2023 commit)
TBD: Judah Mintz (SU freshman point guard who is testing the 2023 NBA Draft waters)
At this juncture, the Orange has 12 scholarship players for 2023-24, and 13 if Mintz does come back.
Also, Taylor and Copeland can suit up at both guard or small forward on the wing. If needed, I assume Bell could play shooting guard some. It’s also possible that Brown could play some spot minutes at center.
This is an athletic, long and versatile roster. It’s also still a somewhat young line-up. There are shooters, facilitators and drivers on offense. Autry has said he’s going to play up-tempo, fast and likely man and zone defenses.
We’ll see how the 2023-24 roster adjusts to man-to-man defensive schemes, but athleticism, length and talent are there. Is Syracuse basketball, this coming season, going to win 20-plus games and get back to the Big Dance?
That remains to be seen. I am pumped to watch this team play in a few months, though.