As we count down to the start of the basketball season, we’re going to be highlighting each member of the Syracuse basketball team. Today’s spotlight is on guard Brandon Triche.
It is Brandon Triche’s time.
The senior guard has started every game of his Syracuse career, but has had supporting roles over time.
As a freshman, Triche started alongside Andy Rautins, and played more of a distributing role. Over the next two seasons, he tried to find a role between being a scoring and passing guard, splitting minutes with Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters.
Many times last year, Triche was the odd man out during crunch time as Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim went with Jardine and Waiters. After averaging 28.8 minutes in his sophomore year, Triche played just 22.5 minutes last season.
But not this year.
Triche is by far the most experienced guard returning, and one of only two scholarship seniors this season. With Michael Carter-Williams likely to take over the primary ball handling duties and Trevor Cooney in just his redshirt freshman season, Triche will be counted on to handle the scoring load.
“He’s really deferred a little bit to the guys who were here and I think he realizes this is his year for him to step forward,” Boeheim said. “I think he will do that. I think he has prepared himself as well as any player I’ve ever coached and I expect that he will have a great year this year.”
Triche expects similar things.
“This year I’m looking to make the play and be there for myself and for the team,” Triche said during Syracuse’s basketball media day on Friday. “Whatever I need to do, I’m definitely going to try to do that.”
Another role that Triche has embraced is the role of a leader.
“In preseason I’ve been talking a lot more actually,” Triche said. “I am one of those guys who says what needs to be said. I don’t say anything extra, but I’m going to pick my teammates up and say what I need to say.”
So far, he’s been pleased with the results.
“Since I’ve been here I think we’re in the best shape overall,” Triche said. “Even our biggest guy, which would be DaJuan (Coleman), is in pretty good shape and beating the walk-on’s in sprints.”
It has all the makings of another special season for Triche, who has been on two separate teams that have been ranked No. 1.
“I think it is going to be pretty good season,” Triche said. “Similar to the past four years, the goal isn’t anything different. It’s a national championship.”
Inside Shot: “For all his physical gifts—strength, speed, and solid shooting touch—Triche’s struggles with his confidence have contributed greatly to three mercurial seasons. Now as a senior, Triche is going to get plenty of burn, probably 30-35 minutes a night, and so the only thing stopping Brandon from becoming a dominant player (aside from needing to add a bit more arc to his jump shot), is Brandon.” —Nate Federman