Potential 2025 Roster | Page 5 | Syracusefan.com

Potential 2025 Roster

Does this mean he’s coming back?
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Does this mean he’s coming back?
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That's a big return for the Orange. Obviously he didn't have the season we might have expected last year, but he's shown the ability. He went from 27 goals as a sophomore to 14 points as a Junior. It was the same as his freshman year totals, though he took 20 more shots as a Junior. Some of the point decrease probably has to do with playing alongside someone like Jake Stevens, whose usage was pretty significant (73 shots to Birtwistle's 48). As a sophomore, Birtwistle was running on the second line with a freshman in Luke Rhoa, and Griffin Cook, who combined for 27 points - Stevens and Rhoa combined for 57 this year. I'm not expecting Birtwistle to replace Steven's scoring entirely, but I think it's reasonable to expect he can score 30ish points if given the opportunity.

The only "concern" I have is the man-up stuff, which isn't just on Birtwistle but the unit in general. Birtwistle went from leading the country in man-up goals with 11 as a sophomore, to just three last year. The group in general went from 56% in 2023 to just 41% last year. A better unit really would have swung a couple of games last year (one goal loss to Cornell they were 2-5, two goal loss to Denver they were 0-2, one goal loss to Army they were 1-5(!), etc. I'm not sure if teams just caught onto what they were doing, or if the personnel was just wrong, though all they did was replace Alex Simmons from a year ago with Stevens. Either way it's imperative that the Orange figure it out going into next year. They lose Stevens from the unit, but return everyone else.
 
The only "concern" I have is the man-up stuff, which isn't just on Birtwistle but the unit in general. Birtwistle went from leading the country in man-up goals with 11 as a sophomore, to just three last year. The group in general went from 56% in 2023 to just 41% last year. A better unit really would have swung a couple of games last year (one goal loss to Cornell they were 2-5, two goal loss to Denver they were 0-2, one goal loss to Army they were 1-5(!), etc. I'm not sure if teams just caught onto what they were doing, or if the personnel was just wrong, though all they did was replace Alex Simmons from a year ago with Stevens. Either way it's imperative that the Orange figure it out going into next year. They lose Stevens from the unit, but return everyone else.
Mentioned this a little while back, but I think a big part of the issue was that Stevens had serious issues with his outside shot. He was relatively reliable on the crease, but would often be way off on his outside shot, or not make the goalie work at all. Stevens played almost exclusively on the crease on Princeton's man up but we had him usually at the top of ours. There are usually rotations but that was overall where he spent the most time. Simmons played towards the top of ours and was waaay more reliable as an outside (and inside) shooter.

When we switched Stevens for Kellogg I thought it was fine that we were giving them some time to gel, but when things continued to look worse than last year, I wish we experimented with Kellogg or someone else again. Having a massive outside shot threat out there can control the movements of the defense. Even something like Deere on one of the left side spots with Hiltz up top could be worth trying so teams would have to respect his shot from outside. Stevens did a lot of great things for us so it feels weird calling him out, but his shot was a serious problem all year.
 
Anyone shocked we haven’t had any more notices of portal entires public?
I assume we have some official ones just not in the public eye now.
 
Rhoa would have helped that unit the most.
i agree think what man up lacked was the outside shooter. As if have someone who can shoot from outside makes them have to press our just tad bit more which is all this team needs to get ball into middle. But they were all looking for slam dunks n D just packed it in. Man up have to have some threat of outside shot. Not saying have to shoot it all time but need to least be threat. Think that also goes for normal offense have be able to get some range. We didn’t have many range shooters n ones we did have didn’t try a lot from outside even when had open looks
 

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