If Syracuse is going to go anywhere this year in basketball, forward Kris Joseph is going to be leading the charge.
The junior forward was named the heir apparent to Wes Johnson to lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament to take care of “unfinished business,” but it’s been a tough transition from Sixth man into Leading man.
Joseph struggled in the early season, scoring just 10 points against Canisius and three points against Detroit. After a 3-for-12 shooting performance against N.C. State, head coach Jim Boeheim noted that Joseph looked like he was “auditioning for something” and demanded more of his rising star.
“Last year, the defenses were more keying in on Wes (Johnson) and Andy (Rautins), which gave me an opportunity to score easy baskets or transition baskets just from the flow of the game,” Joseph said. “This year it is a matter of me picking and choosing my spots. I’m not going to be able to take every shot. But once I get an opportunity, I have to take it.”
Joseph may be finally starting to put things together.
Against Iona, Joseph had one of the finest games of his season, a 21 point, seven rebound, four assist night, leading the Orange to a 83-77 win over an underrated Iona team. More importantly, Joseph needed only 11 shots to get to that total, which came on an array of drives and jumpers.
“Tonight I let the game come to me,” Joseph said. “I really didn’t try to force it. I think in the end it benefited the team as well as myself.”
Joseph even drew some praise from Boeheim.
“I thought Kris (Joseph) was really good,” Boeheim said. “He took two bad jump shots. Other than that he was very good on offense. Not so good on defense.”
Well, I guess there is always more to work on.
As for the football team, this week was more of a look toward the future. The Orange got a commitment from quarterback Ashton Broyld, who lead Rochester’s Rush-Henrietta to the Class-AA state championship. He will sign his letter of intent in February.
The 6-foot-4, 225 pound high school senior passed for 1,961 yards and 24 touchdowns.
And he’s as dangerous with his feet as he is with his arm. Broyld also and rushed for 1,540 yards with 24 TDs this season, as Rush-Henrietta finished 13-0 and won the state title.
He picked Syracuse over fellow Big East rivals Louisville and Rutgers.
At the very least, the signing is a signal that Syracuse is making up major ground in recruiting after ex-coach Greg Robinson had seen a lot of northeast recruits head to Connecticut and Rutgers over the past few years.
That’s all for this week. Have a very happy holiday, and I’ll see you all after Christmas.
Editor in Chief