Syracuse basketball roster in flux

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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim likely will end up losing four guards from his roster.

He says he’s not surprised.

“There’s going to be changes. We knew that,” Boeheim said Tuesday. “Whenever you have five guards you’re going to have change, so nothing surprising there. This is all expected.”

Sophomore guard Brendan Paul announced Tuesday on Twitter that he “will be transferring to a university that fits me both athletically and academically.” Paul joins freshman guard Brycen Goodine, who announced his decision to transfer on Friday. Guards Jalen Carey and Howard Washington also are expected to enter the transfer portal.

“Pretty much that’s likely,” Boeheim said, adding that he didn’t anticipate any other changes. “We’ll see if there will be additions. You never know.”

Only two returning guards have a good dose of experience; Boeheim’s son, Buddy, who will be a junior, and Joe Girard, who had a solid freshman year this past season. Both averaged over 33 minutes for the Orange, who finished 18-14 overall. Syracuse has incoming freshman guard Kadary Richmond to help fill any void at the position.

Also pending is the future of small forward Elijah Hughes, who led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring at 19 points per game and has one year of eligibility remaining.

“That now won’t be decided until who knows when,” Boeheim said. “Everything’s going to be on hold for at least a month, maybe two (because of the coronavirus pandemic). We’re hopeful in two months things will look a lot different, but right now you just don’t know.”

Washington, who suffered a stroke while walking on campus in the fall of 2018, played in 20 games this past season. He had 23 points, 24 assists and 11 turnovers and shot 26.9% while averaging just 7.4 minutes. He played in only three games in 2018-19, applied for a medical redshirt, and had hoped for more playing time. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Carey won the starting point guard job in the preseason but an injured thumb hampered his effectiveness. He played only 23 minutes over two starts, underwent surgery on the finger and redshirted.

Paul, a teammate of Buddy Boeheim at Brewster Academy before joining him at Syracuse, played just nine minutes over seven games in 2019-20 and scored three points.