Syracuse Basketball: Analyzing projected 2024-25 roster, including possible additions

With a lot of roster movement for Syracuse basketball of late, we size up what the 'Cuse line-up may look like next season.
With a lot of roster movement for Syracuse basketball of late, we size up what the 'Cuse line-up may look like next season. / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse basketball coaches continue to pursue additional prospects this off-season for the team's 2024-25 roster, and things are still in flux.

One facet seems clear. The Orange's roster from the recently completed 2023-24 campaign will be getting a massive overhaul ahead of next season.

Since the transfer portal opened on Monday, March 18, with the current window staying open for 45 days, at least six players on the 'Cuse 2023-24 roster have either entered the portal or plan to; additionally, Judah Mintz is headed to the 2024 NBA Draft.

On the flip side, the Orange will bring in two 2024 commits at the high school level, and the program has also landed a transfer center.

Let's look at the Syracuse basketball 2024-25 roster as it stands now.

Departing the Orange:
Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, 2024 NBA Draft
Sophomore guard/wing Quadir Copeland, transfer portal
Sophomore guard/wing Justin Taylor, transfer portal
Sophomore big man Maliq Brown, transfer portal
Sophomore center Peter Carey, transfer portal
Junior forward Benny Williams, transfer portal
Junior center Mounir Hima, transfer portal

Returning to, or coming into, the 'Cuse:
Sophomore small forward Chris Bell
Sophomore guard/wing Chance Westry
Redshirt sophomore guard Kyle Cuffe Jr.
Junior center Naheem McLeod
Sophomore guard J.J. Starling
Freshman center William Patterson
Senior center Eddie Lampkin Jr., a four-star transfer from Colorado
Incoming freshman Donnie Freeman, a five-star power forward from Washington, D.C.
Incoming freshman Elijah Moore, a four-star shooting guard from New York City

At this juncture, seven players from the Syracuse basketball 2023-24 roster are departing. Six guys from last season are returning. The Orange 2024 recruiting class includes two high school commits and one pledge from the transfer portal.

This means that the 'Cuse has four open scholarships, assuming no other players are transferring out this off-season.

In terms of priorities for the Orange coaching staff, a center was important, and the team has one in Lampkin. Syracuse basketball will need to add a point guard and could add at least one other guard. I also think it's critical for the 'Cuse to land an additional wing player who can suit up at the forward spots.

To that end, this weekend, two four-star transfers are visiting the Hill. They are Delaware senior forward Jyáre Davis and Mount St. Mary's senior guard Dakota Leffew. As a side note, Leffew's head coach at Mount St. Mary's, Dan Engelstad, is reportedly set to be hired by Syracuse basketball as a new assistant coach.

I don't have inside information here, but I do believe the Orange has a good shot at landing either Davis or Leffew, and possibly both of them. If they both happened to pledge to the 'Cuse, that would give the team 11 players and two open scholarships.

The 2024-25 roster would then look like this, sorted by position groups:
J.J. Starling
Kyle Cuffe Jr.
Chance Westry
Elijah Moore
Dakota Leffew

Chris Bell
Donnie Freeman
Jyáre Davis

Eddie Lampkin Jr.
Naheem McLeod
William Patterson

That's a fairly nice balance among the different position groups, and I should note that Westry likely could suit up on the wing as a small forward, too.

I acknowledge that we're speaking somewhat in hypotheticals here regarding Leffew and Davis. Still, Syracuse basketball coaches have also shown interest in other college transfers and even at the high school level.

I don't necessarily think that the 'Cuse has to, or will, fill up its maximum, NCAA-allowed 13 scholarship players. I'll be excited if the Orange gets another commitment or two in the near future, as the Syracuse basketball coaching staff inches closer to finalizing its roster for the 2024-25 stanza.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Career highlights of PG Judah Mintz, who heads to 2024 NBA Draft. Syracuse Basketball: Career highlights of PG Judah Mintz, who heads to 2024 NBA Draft. dark