My 2023-24 SU Basketball Preview Part 5 | Syracusefan.com

My 2023-24 SU Basketball Preview Part 5

SWC75

Bored Historian
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
31,979
Like
61,768
Guards

Quadir Copeland, sophomore 6-6 200

I love Quadir but he’s likely to be this team’s Forgotten Man. He was recruited to be our point guard only to be recruited over with Judah Mintz, who then elected to return. Now he’s in with JJ Starling, Chance Westry and Kyle Cuff. Quadir’s great pluses, (as a guard) are his size, his defense and his great passing ability. But he has no shot. He could probably be a good penetrator. He was used mostly as a small forward but you have to be able to shoot there, too. It’s also hard to fully utilize your passing ability from that position. He hit 41% inside the arc but was 1 for 9 from three. He did shoot 13 for 15 from the foul line and was a tiger on the press. His numbers last year:
9.2m 9.2p 6.8r 2.2a 2.0s 0.4b = 20.6+ 5.9mfg 0.4mft 2.8s 5.5pf = 14.6- = 6.0NP 2.9OE 3.1FG

His high school tape showing his great passing ability, which we saw little of last year because he didn’t have the ball:


His freshman SU highlights:
Highlights | Best of Quadir Copeland

247 had him #136 overall and the #17 combo guard prospect but unless he can shoot, he’s a point guard.


Kyle Cuffe Jr., sophomore 6-2 190

Kyle seemed like an afterthought after we heard that Judah Mintz was coming back and JJ Starling and Chance Westry emerged from the portal. But he’s more than that. His father played for St. John’s in the early 2000’s, (but was a very different player: a 6-9 243 forward). Kyle went to Kansas and played 3 minutes in two games, got a rebound and missed two free throws before getting hurt. Cuffe tore his MCL and PCL ligaments while running up the court in practice. (KU sports.com). Then after he got here and broke a bone in his right hand during the summer. He says that’s been healed and he’s ready to go. So what’s exciting about him? 247 had him as a 4 star recruit, the 109th best recruit in the country and the 29th best shooting guard.

His high school tape shows him as having a quick first step, he can beat everybody down the court and can jump through the roof. He’s the shortest guy on the team but could probably win the dunk contest:

Kyle Cuffe Jr Blair Basketball 19-20 Highlights

I didn’t see too many jump shots and it should be noted these highlights are before he tore up his knee.


Judah Mintz, sophomore 6-4 185

“Junior Mints” was our last and best recruit in last year’s class. He immediately became the point guard and vied with Jesse Edwards for who was the team’s best player. Judah had a mongoose-style weave to get through the defense and/or draw a foul. He often landed flat on his back and often watched his shot roll around and through the hoop anyway. He collected a lot of his points at the free throw line while getting defenders in foul trouble. He needs to get the calls but he usually does. He was an aggressive defender and picked several pockets. He didn’t have much of an outside shot to begin with but started to hit jumpers late in the year. He had a four game 8 for 10 stretch from three before going 1 for 6 vs. Georgia Tech and then made 2 of 3 against Wake Forest to end the season. He wound up at 30.3%, which is less than you’d want for a guard. He had to learn to share the ball more and did so as the season progressed. That will be important with all the talents we’ve got on this team.

His numbers:
33.3m 19.5p 2.7r 5.5a 2.2s 0.1b = 30.0+ 8.5mfg 1.7mft 2.9to 2.5pf = 15.6- = 14.4NP 9.3OE 5.1FG

Judah was rated the 63rd national recruit and the #11 combo guard by 247. He was better than that.

Judah’s Mints:

Highlights | Best of Judah Mintz


J.J. Starling, sophomore 6-4 206

JJ is a local kid, having played at Baldwinsville High School before moving to Indiana to play for La Lumiere School, a Catholic college preparatory school. He then went to Notre Dame, (hmmmm…)
He had a good freshman year there but elected to come home when ND coach Mike Brey retired. 247 had him as the #22 overall recruit and the #4 combo guard, a 5 star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, making him the highest rated player on this team when coming out of high school. Here are his numbers at Notre Dame:
29.6m 15.1p 3.8r 1.5a 1.0s 0.3b = 21.7+ 8.3mfg 1.0mft 2.0to 2.6pf = 13.9- = 7.8NP 5.8OE 2.0FG
Those are the numbers of a shooting guard, which is why he’ll be playing next to Mintz. JJ also needs to improve his shot. He was only 29.9% from three and only 63.8% from the line. He’s still another good penetrator, (47.1% from two). Here is his highlight film, which seems to feature all of his jump shots that went in:

JJ Starling 2022-23 Regular Season Highlights | Notre Dame Guard

He’s another guy who can get through a defense to score – if that defense isn’t packed in due to a lack of outside shooting on our team. And will we have enough balls for all these guys who like to have the ball in their hands?

Chance Westry, sophomore 6-6 190

This is still another highly rated guard we got out of the portal, although his height suggests he could also be in the mix at small forward. SU really wanted him but he went to Auburn. He hurt his knee prior to the season, tried to give it a go but gave in and had surgery after playing only 11 games. That makes his numbers last year of questionable use in evaluating him:
9.2M 10.3p 3.0r 4.2a 3.0s 0.8b = 21.3+ 9.9mfg 1.5mft 3.4to 6.5pf = 21.3- = 0.0NP -1.1OE +1.1FG
The worst thing was his shooting, which can obviously impacted by a knee injury: 50% inside the arc but 0 for 14 outside of it and 3 for 7 from the line. His highlights:

Chance Westry - Auburn - Secondary ball handler - 2022-23 Transfer Portal Highlights

Syracuse.com: “The 6-foot-6 Westry has the skills of a point guard but ability to play off the ball plus the height and length to defend multiple positions.”

LATE UPDATE: It was reported today (10/21) That Chance had sustained a “lower body injury and has to have “lower body injury” and will be “out indefinitely”. Not again!!!


Some general observations:

It’s indicative of modern college basketball that we have one recruited high school player, (who will likely redshirt) and no seniors. Every player could come back next year, which would make it fun to watch this team mature. But just because they aren’t seniors, it doesn’t mean they won’t leave. One saving grace: once a player has transferred, they come under the old transfer rules: if they leave again they have to sit out a year, so there’s a good chance McLeod, Starling, Westry and Cuffe will be here next year. Mintz could certainly leave for the pros. Bell and Taylor have a lot of maturing to do. We’ll see what happens with the rest. But there is a good chance most of these players will be on the next two teams and we’ve got a very good class coming in next year.

Red has used all 13 scholarships. We’ll have 4 centers, 4 forwards and 5 guards. Depending on how those guys develop, we could have tremendous depth. We won’t have injured guys trying to play, as we often had in the Boeheim Era. We could have some disgruntled guys who won’t like sitting on the bench. But with some good prospects on the way for next year, I don’t think Red is worried about that.

We’ve got a big, athletic backcourt. Cuffe is the only guy who isn’t at least 6-4 and he can jump through the roof. That’s great for a zone but it can also be good in man-for-man if the players are quick enough to stay in front of people – and these guys are.

In reading about these guys it struck me how much they have played together even prior to becoming a part of this team. There are a lot of comments about growing up together, playing against each other in high school or on AAU teams. That should help team chemistry, which could be vital. The players who came back into our orbit remark on how the SU staff has remained in contact with them, (within the rules), from their original recruitment and the staff didn’t give up on them and they were impressed by the depth of their interest.
 
Did you note that Copeland led in scoring in both the recent intra-squad games and the coaches talked about his off-season improvement? Maybe his high school tape and last year’s stats are less significant than how he is doing this pre-season.

And maybe what he does in a real game is more important than what he does in practice. Both are less important than what happens next.
 
And maybe what he does in a real game is more important than what he does in practice. Both are less important than what happens next.
Sure, but in writing about what a player can contribute in 2023-24, I suppose I would mention his most recent play and observations of year over year improvements.
 
Sure, but in writing about what a player can contribute in 2023-24, I suppose I would mention his most recent play and observations of year over year improvements.

Well, you did.
 
Did you note that Copeland led in scoring in both the recent intra-squad games and the coaches talked about his off-season improvement? Maybe his high school tape and last year’s stats are less significant than how he is doing this pre-season.
I wonder if it was an oversight that Red didn't mention Quaddy today when asked about sophomores who improved since last season
It was Maliq and then I believe he also mentioned JT and Bell.
 
I wonder what the correlation is between free throw % and 3 point shooting. Is free throw % a leading indicator?
 
Q was 13/15.
JJ was 64%.
Chance was 3/7.
 
I wonder if it was an oversight that Red didn't mention Quaddy today when asked about sophomores who improved since last season
It was Maliq and then I believe he also mentioned JT and Bell.
At one point or another he’s said all of them has improved. Eye test for me says Copeland improved the most. I like what I see from Maliq and JT too though. Didn’t see much out of Bell in the scrimmages, but just could have been an off day.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
166,471
Messages
4,640,476
Members
5,877
Latest member
Dodger61

Online statistics

Members online
111
Guests online
940
Total visitors
1,051


Top Bottom