Wouldn’t we love it if we could get everything we want? Here’s what I’d want from the 2022-23 Syracuse basketball team, broken down by player:
Joe Girard: Girard, now in his natural shooting guard position, takes advantage of playing off the ball and averages a team-high 18+ ppg. He finishes in the top three of the ACC in scoring.
Judah Mintz: Mintz enters Syracuse’s starting lineup as the team’s point guard, and lives up to the billing that allowed him to finish 33rd in the ESPN top 100 for 2022 recruits. He provides athleticism at the top of the zone and in breaking down defenses, setting up his teammates for easy shots.
Benny Williams: With a year under his belt, Williams experiences the sophomore surge and taps into the potential that made him a five-star recruit in the 2021 class. Without an experienced backup waiting to replace him on the bench, he relaxes, and that leads to significant production.
Justin Taylor: A precocious Taylor enters Syracuse’s starting lineup and provides timely outside shooting and defends his position on the perimeter well. He makes up for some of SU’s missing outside shooting from Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider moving on.
Jesse Edwards: Edwards returns 100 percent healthy from his injury and becomes an All-ACC center and SU’s second scoring option. He stays out of foul trouble, playing 35+ minutes a night.
Chris Bunch: Much like Taylor, Bunch provides athleticism and shooting off the bench. He quickly becomes one of SU’s top sparks and establishes himself as a reliable scorer.
Quadir Copeland: Copeland pushes Mintz in practice, and his versatility on defense and athleticism on offense finds him steady minutes in the rotation as a change-of-pace, ball hawking guard.
Maliq Brown: With a college ready body, Brown shows the versatility to play emergency minutes at backup center and also rebounds well at the wing position.
Mounir Hima: Hima continues his late season development when he started the final five games of the season as a freshman at Duquesne, and averages a block and three rebounds per game, averaging between 5-10 mpg. He develops later into a reliable role player and even potential starting center toward the end of his SU career.
Peter Carey: With several players ahead of him in the depth chart, Carey redshirts as he works back from an injury that cost him his senior year of high school. Much like Edwards, he develops into an All-ACC caliber center as an upperclassmen.
Symir Torrence: Torrence adds a consistent outside shot to his game over the summer, and picks up where he left off at the end of the 2021-22 season. He makes it difficult for Jim Boeheim to choose whether to start him or Mintz at point guard.
John Bol Ajak: Ajak’s development continues to the point where he can become a fringe rotational player that can provide quality minutes at both center and wing.