ATLANTA — Syracuse has depth and talent for the first time in years, and that’s got Syracuse strength and conditioning coach Eric Devendorf excited.
Devendorf scored a team-high 19 points in Boeheim’s Army’s 73-69 win over Armored Athlete in the Super 16 of The Basketball Tournament on Saturday. The team was then eliminated by the Golden Eagles on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
Last year, Syracuse lacked depth, with the team mostly employing a six-man rotation of guard Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, wings Oshae Brissett and Marek Dolezaj, and centers Bourama Sidibe and Paschal Chukwu.
All of those players return for the 2018-19 season, and Syracuse has added a freshmen class of Buddy Boeheim, Robert Braswell, Jalen Carey, as well as ECU transfer and redshirt sophomore Elijah Hughes.
“We definitely have a lot of talent coming with obviously Tyus, Frank and Oshae being the three leaders,” Devendorf said. “We have a lot of depth this year. It’ll be exciting.”
Devendorf was particularly bullish on the incoming freshmen class, which will be strong despite the defection of blue chip recruit Darius Bazley to the G-League.
Describing Carey as an ‘NBA guy,’ Devendorf said he’d be able to contribute right away, especially on the offensive end. The younger Boeheim will help space the floor with his shooting ability, while Braswell can provide quality minutes at wing.
“Robert is a little under the radar and I think he’s going to surprise some people,” Devendorf said. “He can shoot it. He’s athletic. We’re working with him on the other end, blocking shots and rebounding.”
That will give head coach Jim Boeheim plenty of options, which is something the team has lacked in recent years.
“It’ll help Tyus and Oshae because they played so many minutes last year,” Devendorf said. “It’ll give Tyus a little more of a chance to be efficient out there and same with Oshae and Frank.”