Syracuse basketball wrapped up its 2020-21 season with a Sweet-16 loss to Houston. With the season over, the focus immediately goes to next year. Head coach Jim Boeheim indicated during the postgame press conference that there would be roster turnover with players entering the portal.
"We'll have guys leave," Boeheim said. "And it's what's going to happen. That's what's going to happen. And in the next two to three weeks, as things happen, we're going to have to adjust to it and start recruiting in the transfer portal because we'll have guys in there."
So which Syracuse players will leave and which will stay? Here are my predictions for how that plays out.
F/C John Bol Ajak (6-10, 215 lbs, Redshirt Freshman): Leaves - Bol Ajak was recruited to play forward and moved to center this past offseason. He played sparingly and will likely be behind multiple players are both positions. My official prediction is that he transfers to find an opportunity for more consistent playing time.
C Frank Anselem (6-10, 210 lbs, Freshman): Stays - While it is true that Anselem played a bit early but he did not see the floor after December 12th, Syracuse loves Anselem's potential. The plan was never to rely on him to produce as a true freshman. The prediction here is that he stays to continue developing and he will look to earn a role for next season.
G Buddy Boeheim (6-6, 195 lbs, Junior): Stays - This is pretty simple. Buddy Buckets stated after the Houston game that he was coming back. So we predict, essentially, that he was not lying. Welcome back Mr. Buckets.
F Robert Braswell (6-7, 206 lbs, Redshirt Sophomore): Leaves - If Quincy Guerrier returns, with the addition of Benny Williams, Braswell would have a limited reserve role at best. He seemed close to transferring last offseason, and therefore there is a decent chance he does so this year. This despite the fact that Braswell came on during the postseason run. I predict he looks for an opportunity for more playing time.
F/C Marek Dolezaj (6-10, 201 lbs, Senior): Leaves - No there is not an expectation that Dolezaj will leave to play elsewhere. Rather, I predict that he will conclude his collegiate career and turn pro. Do not be surprised if he plays a decade-plus in a European league somewhere.
C Jesse Edwards (6-11, 215 lbs, Sophomore): Stays - Edwards emerged towards the end of the season, and seems to be close to putting it all together. Syracuse's woes at the center position may be solved by Edwards, starting next season. I predict he stays and competes for a starting gig.
G Joseph Girard (6-1, 195 lbs, Sophomore): Stays - Girard has started for two seasons and has the trust of the head coach. Why would he leave? The official prediction is that Girard stays.
F Alan Griffin (6-5, 190 lbs, Junior): Leaves - Griffin went from playing 30-plus minutes per game consistently to just 12.8 minutes over per game over the last four. Defensive mistakes were a big reason why. My prediction is that Griffin elects to leave, either to turn pro or find another collegiate home.
F Quincy Guerrier (6-7, 220 lbs, Sophomore): Stays - Guerrier is an interesting case. He had a tremendous start to the season and took major strides in his development. As the season went along, there some consistency issues. My prediction is that he comes back, but do not be surprised if he tests the NBA waters without hiring an agent in order to receive feedback from pro scouts.
F Woody Newton (6-8, 200 lbs, Freshman): Leaves - Newton had a promising start to the season, but fell out of the rotation after the second pause. With Benny Williams coming in and Quincy potentially coming back, a starting spot will not likely be available. My prediction is that Syracuse looks for front court help in the portal, and Newton heads elsewhere to try to find a spot with more available playing time.
F Chaz Owens (6-5, 200 lbs, Freshman): Stays - There were no expectations that Owens would play last season. He will be back.
G Kadary Richmond (6-5, 180 lbs, Freshman): Stays - Richmond is young, extremely talented and has an NBA ceiling. Syracuse knows how good he is. My prediction is that the coaching staff communicates all of that during exit interviews, reiterating he will play a lot of minutes next season, and Richmond stays.
C Bourama Sidibe (6-10, 218 lbs, Senior): Leaves - With the constant injuries that Sidibe has dealt with during his Syracuse career, it may be time to move on. I predict that is exactly what will happen.