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 forward DaJuan Coleman.
The clues were all over when DaJuan Coleman made his decision to come to Syracuse.
Coleman, who grew up just miles from the Syracuse University campus, spent his childhood attending games inside the Carrier Dome. He had plenty of ties to the Orange, including his former teammate at Jamesville-DeWitt, Brandon Triche, now in his senior year at SU.
His announcement was made in his high school gym, as chants of “Let’s Go Orange” rained down from the orange-clad contingent on hand.
Sure, Coleman went on a visit to Kentucky, and listened to their recruiting pitch, but in the end, there wasn’t much of a decision to make.
“I wasn’t close at all (to choosing Kentucky),” Coleman said. “I had a feeling I was going to come here so I just wanted to go through recruitment and everything.”
Now, that moment has arrived. As one of the country’s most talented freshman (rated a five-star recruit by Scout.com), Coleman is expected to have a large role on a team that lost its starting center, Fab Melo, to the NBA.
“DaJuan Coleman has a tremendous history at winning state championships and being the guy at a tremendous program, who’s been extremely well coached,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think he is more than ready to contribute as a freshman.”
Part of the reason for that is that Coleman, listed at 6 foot 9 and 288 pounds, arrived on campus in excellent shape. Triche made it a point to highlight that Coleman was beating the walk-ons during sprints.
“First day it was really difficult but once you are doing it every week, two or three times a week, you get used to it,” Coleman said. “So, I think I really got used to it towards the end.”
What does Coleman expect his role to be?
“I get boards and help out the bigs,” Coleman said. “I probably won’t be the leader by points or anything, but I just have to play my role and play.”
Inside Shot: “Between Christmas and Coleman, Coleman seems the more likely candidate to play center, as I think he lacks the quickness and mobility to cover a speedy perimeter player if he’s playing the wing of the zone. But, depending on which one is out there, we lose/gain something on offense/defense/rebounding.” —Nate Federman