Syracuse basketball has undergone a lot of change in the offseason. Associate head coach Adrian Autry is now at the helm, and he may need to fill in multiple roles.
Backups John Bol Ajak and Symir Torrence are now in the transfer portal, while Judah Mintz is going through the NBA Draft evaluation process (he still retains his college eligibility). Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards have an additional year of eligibility, and it’s unclear as of now whether they will return.
Below we highlight three different categories and some interesting players the Orange could seek out in the growing transfer portal this offseason if the Orange indeed loses all of these players.
Girard, Torrence and Mintz may all be gone, and if they are, Syracuse will be in need of a guard alongside incoming Notre Dame transfer JJ Starling.
After transferring from Duquesne to Georgetown, Primo Spears played a season in the Big East where he put up impressive numbers. Averaging 16 points a game and over five assists per game, the guard was the highlight on a struggling Hoyas team.
Being able to shoot 30% from beyond the arc, Spears offensively can spread the floor and plug in as a combo guard next to Starling at Syracuse.
Still, Spears did play for Georgetown, and the rivalry move to Syracuse seems unlikely. Spears has announced he is testing the NBA Draft but is retaining the ability to return to college.
New Jersey native Khalif Battle, brother of former Syracuse guard Tyus Battle, started his collegiate career at Butler before playing a career high 27 games last season for Temple. Battle was absent the last six games of Temple’s season due to personal reasons.
As a lengthy guard, Battle averaged 17.9 points per game and shot 41% from the field. He totalled the most 3-pointers of his career last season, and manages to grab over three rebounds a game.
With Illinois transfer guard Skyy Clark committing to Louisville, there’s speculation Battle could join Clark for a new look Cardinals team.
Syracuse offered Battle as a high school player, and there is a chance the Orange could pursue him almost four years later. The guard would add immediate depth and scoring.
Syracuse has plenty of young talent at wing, with Chris Bell, Justin Taylor, and Maliq Brown coming off their freshman seasons, plus rising junior Benny Williams. While they all continue to progress, a veteran player on the wing could fit into the rotation well. The following two players fit the mold of a Zack Hicks, the Temple transfer who has reportedly drawn interest from the Orange.
Playing two seasons at Georgia before transferring to Wichita State, Jaykwon Walton broke out in his only season in the American Athletic Conference. After barely playing for the Bulldogs, Walker averaged over thirty minutes along with 14 points and over 5 rebounds per game.
This year’s strong campaign led to Walker entering the transfer portal after Witchita State’s fired their head coach and replacing him with Paul Mills from Oral Roberts.
Walker is a “three and D” type player who shot 40 percent from downtown and could offer a to a Power 5 program. As a veteran, he would be a great pickup in the portal and a key piece the Orange could use.
Jamison Battle announced his departure from Minnesota after two years in the Big Ten, and over fifteen schools reached out to the forward.
This comes as no surprise with Battle’s development since joining the Big Ten after two years at George Washington. Despite his scoring production decreasing last season, he still averaged 12.4 points and 4 rebounds a game.
Battle is a consistent perimeter shooter, including his first season with Minnesota where he shot over 36 percent from deep. Although his scoring and rebounding numbers last season were not as strong as his junior year, Battle has the ability to be a veteran with a designed role anywhere he goes.
While Syracuse is not one of the schools that have already reached out to Battle, his ability to provide a shooting spark with an athletic build for defense is in line with what they need. For a team who is in need of perimeter help, this transfer could bode well for the Orange.
With Edwards potentially moving on and several raw players behind him (Mounir Hima, William Patterson, Peter Carey), Syracuse could very well be in need of a player who can come in right away and start at center.
After being named preseason Mountain West Player of the Year, Wyoming’s Graham Ike had a right foot injury that sidelined him the entire 2023 season.
In a down year for Wyoming, Ike entered the transfer portal following the end of the season. During his first two seasons in the Mountain West, Ike averaged over 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
With his strength and ability to score at the rim, Ike is ready to make the jump from a mid-major.
Now a junior, Ike has not played college basketball in over a year making him a bit of a risk. However, the chance to develop his talent in a prominent role could lead to success at Syracuse.
As one of the most talented centers so far in the transfer portal, Eddie Lampkin Jr. played at TCU for three years before his announcement to leave. After barely playing his freshmen year, Lampkin improved to become a reliable part of TCU’s 2022 NCAA Tournament run.
Most known for his 20 point and 14 rebound game against Arizona during last year’s NCAA Tournament, Lampkin uses his size well and has above average court awareness.
Lampkin ended his 2023 season early after leaving the team before the Big 12 Tournament. There were reports of Lampkin’s mother alleging head coach Jamie Dixon made “racial remarks” in a now-deleted Instagram post.
Despite what happened to end his TCU career, Lampkin is invested in transferring to a team with a prominent role down low. Syracuse could use his strength and ability to defend the rim as a perfect fit.
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