Syracuse was dealt potentially disastrous news on Saturday morning when they found out that sharpshooter James Southerland is out indefinitely. The team’s second-leading scorer has his future in doubt after a release came out from the school. The release came out an hour before the game against Villanova, and read as follows:
“Due to an eligibility matter, Senior James Southerland will not participate in competition until further notice. Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, we are unable to provide any further details at this time.”
Southerland’s impact is large for a team that has been inconsistent offensively especially from behind the arc. He has averaged 13.6 points this season for the 7th ranked team in the nation.
For one game, the absence didn’t matter as Jerami Grant got a career-high 13 points. Grant’s athleticism and Trevor Cooney‘s range will be needed to make up for the sixth man’s impact. Cooney has struggled this season and made only two of his six three point attempts.
Coach Boeheim would not speak out it after the game, but he’s familiar with dealing with these situations. Last year, Fab Melo had academic issues which caused him to miss some time, including the NCAA Tournament.
The schedule stiffens up a bit as the team has three road games in their next four, including a huge tilt with what could be the #1 team in the land, Louisville. A rematch with these Wildcats comes on the 26th this month in Philadelphia. We’ll see if, and how the Orange survive.