The Syracuse men’s basketball team held its first practice in preparation for a 10-game exhibition trip to Italy in August. The last time the Orange took a preseason foreign trip prior to the 2013-2014, the team won its first 25 games of the regular season.
With five incoming freshmen and only two returning upperclassmen who averaged more than 10 minutes per game in conference play, SU will undergo its biggest roster overhaul in several years.
The Italy trip offers the players a unique chance to develop on-court chemistry, as well bond off-court while dining on some of the finest cuisine in the world. To give fans an advanced look at what to expect of the new roster, here is the type of pasta that best represents each member of the Orange.
Joe Girard – Bavette. Did you know there is a Pasta World Championship? Neither did I. But apparently Barilla has put one on every year since 2016. The dish made by the first ever winner featured bavette pasta. And that’s why this pasta is perfect for Joe Girard. Not only is he New York State’s all time leading scorer with more than 4,000 points, he also scored the winning basket while leading his team to a New York state Class B championship. He’s a winner, and that’s all there is to it.
John Bol Ajak – Angel hair. The 6-foot-11 center is the prototypical Syracuse big: long and skinny, just like angel hair pasta. That doesn’t mean he can’t mix it up down low. Expect Ajak to assert himself as a rim protector on the defensive end of the floor.
Quincy Guerrier – Campanelle. This cone-like pasta with ruffled edges literally means “bellflower” in Italian. It’s great for soaking up thick, hearty sauces. With Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett gone, Syracuse is going to need Guerrier to soak up the missing scoring. A versatile three-level scorer, Guerrier will do just that.
Brycen Goodine – Ramen. OK, ramen noodles aren’t from Italy. But they are bouncy. Goodine is a skilled combo guard, but he will impress the most with his athleticism and bounce off the floor. Fans can expect many highlight dunks from the St. Andrew’s product.
Jesse Edwards – Spaghetti. Spaghetti is long and skinny, but it’s also an enigma. The mystery is that it’s almost impossible to break a strand of dry spaghetti into two pieces. This confounded physicists, including the famous Richard Feynman, until French scientists solved the riddle in 2006. Jesse Edwards is another prototypical SU big man – long and skinny – but he’s an even bigger mystery than how spaghetti breaks apart. A native of the Netherlands, Edwards was largely un-scouted until he moved to the US and spend a year playing at IMG Academy. SU fans can expect Edwards to show a polished offensive game for a freshman center.
Buddy Boeheim – Macaroni. Best known as part of the duo, mac & cheese, macaroni is a classic. You know what you’re going to get. The same goes for Boeheim. Not only is he the coach’s son, he’s also consistent. In the Orange’s final 18 games, Boeheim made a 3 in all but four games. In nine of those games he made three or more 3s. Expect more long-distance accuracy from Boeheim in his sophomore season.
Jalen Carey – Rotelle. This wheel-shaped pasta literally means “little wheel” in Italian. As the presumed starting point guard, Carey will be the wheel that makes the Orange go next season. He came to Syracuse as a highly ranked recruit but saw diminished playing time in the second half of last season. This coming season, SU will go as far as Carey takes them.
Robert Braswell – Fusilli. This corkscrew-shaped pasta takes longer to cook than many other pastas, often 13-14 minutes. Braswell only averaged 4 minutes in 12 games last season, and this season he figures to be behind several others on the depth chart once again. But like fusilli, he may be worth the wait. Braswell is a skilled shooter who, albeit in a limited sample size, had the highest shooting percentage on the team last season.
Bourama Sidibe – Gnocchi. These hearty, soft dumplings are a classic with pesto and other rich sauces. But if you let them boil for too long, they can quickly become fragile and break apart. Sidibe has played through injuries for much of his SU career, and like gnocchi left in the pot too long, he joints were showing the wear and tear. If Sidibe can get healthy for the upcoming season, he projects to be the team’s starting center and will play a key role on both ends of the floor.
Howard Washington – Ravioli. Perhaps the most versatile of pastas, ravioli can be filled with just about anything. They can be eaten with sauce or without. Washington is the consummate team player and floor general. He makes everyone on the floor better through his vision and playmaking. Washington has missed most of first two seasons, first tearing his ACL his freshman season and then surviving a stroke last year. If Washington can get healthy and stay on the court, he will play an important role facilitating the Orange offense.
Elijah Hughes – Farfalle. Like farfalle, Elijah Hughes is a dish best served cold. The long-distance sharpshooter made 87 3-pointers for Syracuse last season, many of them from well beyond NBA range. Hughes is ice cold, and he will lead the Orange offense next season. Syracuse needs Hughes to become more efficient driving to the basket, but with him and Boeheim on the court, SU will have no trouble spacing the floor for Carey and Guerrier.