2016-17 Syracuse basketball report card

Gillon had an up-and-down season at SU
Gillon had an up-and-down season at SU

Syracuse basketball’s season ended a couple of weeks ago. Pencils are down, and the grades are in. Let’s see how the team did:

Andrew White: White was Syracuse’s alpha dog on offense, and was every bit as good as advertised. He led the team at 18.5 point per game with a 44.1/40.3/83.7 slash line. While White struggled learning the zone, he drastically improved by the end of the season Grade: A-.

Tyler Lydon: Lydon, expected to shoulder more of the offensive load in his sophomore year, too frequently deferred to his teammates. Coaches and fans implored him to be more aggressive, but Lydon was still SU’s second leading scorer at 13.2 points per game. He was Syracuse’s best defensive center with a team leading 8.6 rebounds per game and 1.4 blocks per game. Grade: B+. 

Tyus Battle: Toward the end of the season, Battle had become Syracuse’s second best scorer and emerged as a potential one-and-done. Fortunately for Syracuse, he’s returning for his sophomore year, and will improve on his 11.3 points per game, which was already third on the team. Grade: B+.

John Gillon: There were some games like Ole’ Miss and UNC Greensboro when Gillon was non-existent (a combined seven points in the NIT). Then, there was the 43 point explosion against NC State and the 26 points against Duke when Gillon single-handedly willed Syracuse to wins. So he gets an A for those games and F for the others, averaging out to… Grade: B.

» Related: An early look at the 2017-18 Syracuse basketball team

Taurean Thompson: Thompson is blessed with a deft offensive game, but still needs plenty of work on the defensive end. Once he joined the starting lineup at the start of ACC play, he never gave up his starting role. The key for him next season will be to stay out of foul trouble. Grade: B.

Dajuan Coleman: Coleman barely appeared during conference play, and his impact on this team was more behind the scenes. His knees robbed him of any opportunity to have the kind of career at Syracuse he had in high school, but he certainly earned the respect of all SU fans. Grade: C+.

Tyler Roberson: Roberson was shuttered away to Jim Boeheim’s doghouse for most of the season, and by the time he found his way back to the lineup, his confidence was sapped. If Roberson ever developed a jump shot, he could’ve been a double-double machine. Grade: C.

Frank Howard: Boeheim said he’s looking for Howard to make a “Scoop Jardine” like jump from his sophomore to junior year. Howard clearly has the goods to be an excellent distributor and shooter, but he needs to find his confidence to reach his potential. Grade: C.

Paschal Chukwu: Syracuse could’ve used Chukwu’s interior defense and 7-2 wingspan during the season, which would’ve allowed Lydon to slide back into his more natural position at wing. Hopefully, Chukwe’s put his eye injury behind him. Grade: INC.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]sujuiceonline.com.