Syracuse men’s basketball could lose key players to transfer portal, NBA Draft

SU men’s basketball could lose key players to transfer portal, NBA Draft

Robert Braswell, Kadary Richmond and John Bol Ajak decide to test the waters after breakout season with the Orange.
Published: March 30, 2021
Mar 1, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Kadary Richmond (3) handles the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Kadary Richmond (3) handles the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at the Carrier Dome.

Late last night, information came out that the Syracuse women’s basketball team could possibly lose eight players in the transfer portal, including key contributors like Kiara Lewis and Emily Engstler.

Earlier in the day, the men’s team shared similar news, confirming that freshman Kadary Richmond,  redshirt sophomore Robert Braswell and redshirt freshman John Bol Ajak have entered the transfer portal, just days after Syracuse lost in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.

Quincy Guerrier has also decided to prepare for the NBA Combine after two seasons with the Orange, although this does not guarantee that his time with Syracuse is over. Guerrier’s prep coach at Thetford Academy and advisor Ibrahim Appiah said that he will make a decision about whether or not to return to SU after hearing from NBA executives.

As a freshman, Richmond earned three spots early in the season, and quickly became a go-to player off the bench for the Orange. His stats at the end of his first year were impressive – 177 total points, 14 blocks, 46 steals and 74 rebounds – despite having limited playing time in some games.

Braswell quickly became a fan favorite this season, as he stepped up when other players were out due to injury or COVID-19 protocols. During the regular season, he averaged 3.8 points per game, but from the start of the ACC Tournament through the end of the season, those numbers nearly doubled. His playing time also increased.

Ajak only played in ten games while at Syracuse, and only posted two points and four rebounds in his brief career. Through those ten games, he never saw more than ten minutes of playing time, and this could’ve been a contributing factor in his decision to play elsewhere.

“I want to thank John Bol, Rob and Kadary for all they contributed to the Syracuse program,” coach Jim Boeheim said in a statement released on Tuesday evening. “I especially want to thank Rob and Kadary for the key role they played in the success we had at the end of the year. We all wish them the best.”

Boeheim also said that between four and six players could opt to leave. Fans are waiting to see if seniors Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe will take advantage of their extra eligibility and return for a fifth season.

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is the Sports Lead Producer for The NewsHouse.