Syracuse Basketball: Chris McCullough Will Help On Both Ends

By Gregory Philson
Chris McCullough
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange are losing quite a bit from the team that started 25-0 last season with Tyler Ennis somewhat surprisingly declaring for this upcoming NBA Draft earlier this spring.

However, coach Jim Boeheim did not slack on the recruiting trail, and with the addition of forward Chris McCullough as part of this year’s class, the Orange could again be a threat to challenge for the top spot in the ACC.

McCullough is a perfect fit for Boeheim’s system in every way. His length at 6-foot-10 will frustrate offenses going up against the 2-3 zone. The zone has worked at Syracuse because the players not only run it well, but they are also long players who fill up passing lanes, deflect passes and cause turnovers.

Scouts believe McCullough will improve his basketball IQ, and playing under Boeheim will make that even easier. He possesses all the skills to be a great player. He can block shots and is a superb ball handler for his size. He must work on his mid-range game, but he will still contribute on offense because of his height. Last season, the Orange offense would lock up because there was no one who could consistently demand attention inside. The Orange did not finish off the 2013-14 season well, and there were serious problems on both ends of the court. The offense lacked creativity, and the defense really could not stop teams like the zone did in the past. McCullough will bring scoring, defense and energy to a team that needs to fill a lot of holes.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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