Jim Boeheim may be in the latter stages of his career, but he’s not slowing down.
The Hall-of-Fame coach added a major piece to his team Sunday when Nebraska grad transfer Andrew White opted to commit to the Orange. White averaged 16.6 points last season while making 87 3-point shots and will be immediately eligible to play in 2016-17 since he’s already a college graduate.
What does his addition mean for Syracuse?
It means that the Orange have a legitimate chance to be a top-five team in the ACC next season.
Syracuse was a bit depleted after losing Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney and Malachi Richardson following last March’s run to the Final Four, but White and Colorado State transfer John Gillon should help this team with depth and experience.
Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson are back as likely starters while DaJuan Coleman and Providence transfer Paschal Chukwu should split time in the pivot.
Duke appears to be a cut above the rest in the ACC entering next season, but White’s addition gives the Orange a chance to be just as good as anyone that’s behind the Blue Devils.
The real question for this team is at the point guard spot, where Boeheim will use both Gillon and sophomore Franklin Howard at the most important position on the floor.
Manu Lecomte will have a major role for Baylor
The Belgium native was a capable rotation player at Miami before transferring to the Bears’ program and he should be Scott Drew’s starting point guard for the next two seasons.
Lecomte didn’t leave Coral Gables because he couldn’t play — He left because the Hurricanes were loaded on the perimeter and there simply weren’t enough minutes to go around.
The 5-foot-11 floor general averaged 28.0 minutes a game as a freshman and then his numbers dipped as a sophomore to just 22.4 minutes when Miami added both Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan.
Always steady and always under control, Lecomte might be the best Big 12 newcomer that nobody is talking about.
He averaged 7.9 points and shot 45.6 percent from 3-point range during the 2014-15 season, but his greatest attribute is how well he takes care of the ball.
Lecomte only had 43 turnovers in 853 minutes two seasons ago.
Florida’s non-conference schedule has serious challenges
The Gators will be attempting to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014 and it’s going to be awfully difficult for them to gain momentum during the non-conference portion of their schedule.
Due to renovations at the O’Connell Center, Florida will not play a true home game until Dec. 21. That’s a tough deal with a roster full of players that have never played a minute in the field of 68.
Mike White’s squad will instead play its normal home games in November and December at different sites in the state of Florida against quality teams like Belmont, North Florida, St. Bonaventure, and Florida Gulf Coast. The Gators will also participate in the Advocare Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend where they open with Seton Hall, travel to Florida State and face Duke in the Jimmy V Challenge at Madison Square Garden in December.
That’s a lot for an unproven team to handle considering there’s no one player in this program right now that’s regularly won at a high level.
This is major storyline to monitor within the first two months of the season.
This and That
- 2017 guard Nick Weatherspoon told CBS Sports that he will take an official visit to Mississippi State on Sept. 9. A five-star prospect according to 247Sports, sources have told CBS Sports that Weatherspoon will likely wind up with the either the Bulldogs or at NC State. His older brother, Quinndary, is a sophomore at Mississippi State.
- Hartford grad transfer Pancake Thomas told CBS Sports on Sunday that he plans to visit Boise State, San Diego and Temple. The 6-4 guard visited Western Kentucky this past weekend and will be immediately eligible to play next season since he’s already a college graduate. Thomas averaged 18.9 points last year and made 81 3-point shots.
- A big takeaway from last week’s release of the Big Ten conference schedule: Penn State finally has a chance early. The Nittany Lions will open league play with four of their first five games in the state of Pennsylvania. Next season could finally be when Pat Chambers gets the boulder on the other side of the hill in State College.
- Seton Hall was 15-0 last season when its opponents scores 65 points or less. If the Pirates want to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2017, it’s going to be because of their defense. Kevin Willard’s team lost Isaiah Whitehead to the NBA, but returns four starters from the team that beat Villanova in the finals of the Big East Tournament.
- One consistent theme I’ve heard all summer out of Columbus? Kam Williams has been arguably Ohio State’s best player since the end of last season. The 6-2 guard averaged 8.3 points while shooting 43.7 percent from 3-point range a year ago as a sophomore.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Landing transfer Andrew White a coup for Syracuse, puts Orange back in ACC mix