Syracuse is only two games into the season, but it is getting meaningful contributions from a trio of players who played elsewhere in college basketball a year ago.
Cornell grad transfer Jimmy Boeheim trails only his brother in points per game (16.5) through the first two contests. Villanova transfer Cole Swider joins him in the starting lineup and has nearly tripled his rebounding (8.5 rpg) and double his scoring (12.5 ppg).. Then there is Symir Torrence, who has been a nice change of pace guard (3.5 apg) off the bench.
It’s becoming a trend for Jim Boeheim, who has developed an outstanding track record with transfers.
In recent memory, Andrew White, John Gillon, Michael Gbinije, Paschal Chukwu and Elijah Hughes were all major contributors to Syracuse, and three out of that group ended up playing in the NBA. The only notable miss in recent years was Geno Thorpe.
On the other side of this, we need to trust Boeheim more when it comes to departures. It’s early, but the most recent batch of players who transferred out of Syracuse aren’t faring as well.
- Kadary Richmond: He seems to be slowly acclimating to Seton Hall. Through three games, he’s averaging just 5.7 points and 2.0 assists per game. Though the Pirates upset No. 4 Michigan on Wednesday evening, Richmond went scoreless, had three turnovers, and didn’t play down the stretch.
- Quincy Guerrier: After a breakout season where he averaged 13.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg, Guerrier’s production and minutes have taken a hit at Oregon. Through three games he’s playing only 27.0 mpg (down from 32.9) and averaging 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. He’s also only shooting 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.
- Woody Newton: Newton is playing slightly more minutes (8.5 compared to 7.9 mpg) across four games, but is only averaging 2.0 ppg and 1.0 rpg, while shooting just 25 percent from the field.
- Robert Braswell: Braswell is doing by far the best of the four transfers, averaging 12.5 points (up from 3.8 ppg) in two games, though he’s also taken a step down from playing in the high-major ACC to the mid-major CUSA.
Looking back a few more years, other transfers have also struggled to find their place outside of Syracuse.
Jalen Carey cannot crack the starting lineup at Rhode Island. Brycen Goodine is a backup at Providence. Matthew Moyer was a bench player at Vanderbilt before starting for one season at George Washington. Taurean Thompson played three games from 2018-2020 between Seton Hall and Detroit Mercy. Kaleb Joseph was a rotational player at Creighton.
Bottom line, it is rare for Syracuse men’s transfers to go on to impressive collegiate careers elsewhere. Say what you want about Jim Boeheim, but there is no doubt that he is a good judge of talent, especially within his own program.