With guards Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney out of eligibility, freshman Malachi Richardson stands to see even more scoring opportunities as a sophomore in 2016-17. Before reaching that point however, the New Jersey native has decided to enter the 2016 NBA Draft but will not hire an agent in order to preserve his college eligibility.
Richardson was a mainstay in the starting lineup for Jim Boeheim’s team, averaging 13.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game on a team that reached the Final Four. It was his second half offensive showing that sparked the Orange’s comeback win over No. 1 Virginia in the Elite Eight, as he hit six three-pointers and scored 23 points on the day.
In addition to Gbinije and Cooney Syracuse has also lost seldom-used point guard Kaleb Joseph, who transferred to Creighton, from its’ backcourt. That leaves Richardson and fellow rising sophomore Franklin Howard as guards who saw playing time this season should the former return to campus. The Orange also add a talented guard in the form of freshman Tyus Battle this summer.
Richardson is one of two Syracuse underclassmen who have important decision to make in regards to the NBA Draft, with 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Lydon being the other.