A quick take on Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett announcing that he will remain in the 2019 NBA Draft:
WHAT HAPPENED: On Tuesday evening, Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett tweeted a heartfelt goodbye to the Syracuse community, saying that he will forgo his two remaining years of eligibility and begin his professional career. “Through all the ups and downs, I’ve always felt appreciated by the best fan base in the country,” Brissett said. “I feel it’s the right time to fully concentrate on my No. 1 goal, and that’s to keep my name in the 2019 NBA Draft.” Said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in a release: “I want to thank Oshae Brissett for all he did in his two years with our program. He was an important part of two NCAA Tournament teams at Syracuse. We appreciate his contributions and now wish him the best of luck.”
ANALYSIS: Though Brissett was not initially though of as a potential pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, he parlayed a stand-out performance in the NBA’s G-League Combine to get invited to the NBA Combine last week. He impressed there as well, showing a more confident shooting touch from beyond the arc and had a chance to showcase other measureables. He had the lowest body fat percentage of any prospect and he displayed the highest vertical leap of any forward. That seemed to be enough to allay some concerns about his statistical regression from his freshman to sophomore year, where Brissett saw drops in his 3-point shooting percentage (33.1 down to 27.0), points (14.9 to 12.4) and rebounds (8.8 to 7.5).
HERO: With Brissett gone, Syracuse has another scholarship to use, and it’s likely they’ll use it on wings. Syracuse has been heavily pursuing Woody Newton, a four-star prospect from Washington, DC, and he will be making his college decision next week. The Orange is also the favorites for Andre Jackson, another four-star wing from nearby Albany, though there is no timeline for his decision yet.
ZERO: Brissett leaving makes it four of last year’s five starters to move on. Tyus Battle declared for the NBA Draft after his junior season, while Frank Howard and Paschal Chukwu exhausted their eligibility. There’s lots of potential, but lack of experience behind them. Forwards Marek Dolezaj and Elijah Hughes will be the only players returning with starting experience. Expect Jalen Carey to start at guard, and perhaps Buddy Boeheim joining him at shooting guard. Quincy Guerrier, another highly touted Canadian forward, may vault into the starting lineup with Brissett leaving, with Bourama Sidibe, Jesse Edwards and John Bol Ajak as options to play minutes at center.
WHAT’S NEXT: The 2019 NBA Draft will be at the Barclay’s Center on June 20, 2019. Neither Brissett or Battle is currently projected in any of the major mock drafts, but that can certainly change between now and then.