How the transfer portal additions fit with the Orange -

How the transfer portal additions fit with the Orange

by Dominic Chiappone

Posted: 6/10/2024 1:13:45 PM

Where the new transfers collectively fit on next year’s team.

Colorado v Florida Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Over the course of this offseason, Syracuse Orange men’s basketball coach Adrian Autry secured four transfer portal commitments to help offset the seven departures from last year’s team.

The incoming transfers — Eddie Lampkin Jr. (Colorado), Lucas Taylor (Georgia State), Jyare Davis (Delaware) and Jaquan Carlos (Hofstra) — each bring at least three years of collegiate experience to the Orange. Collectively, all should play a significant role to help support Syracuse’s returning and incoming talent. They are also being added to help address some of the Orange’s limitations from last season.

We’re here to break down what skill sets the incoming transfers can bring to the table as well as define their potential role(s) on the 2024-25 Orange:

Eddie Lampkin Jr.

Entering his fifth collegiate season, former Colorado center Eddie Lampkin Jr. is arguably Autry’s most significant transfer portal commitment of the offseason.

In 2023-24, Lampkin averaged career-highs in points (10.6), rebounds (7.0), assists (2.2) and minutes (27.8) as the full-time starting center for the Buffaloes (36 starts in 37 games) following a three-year tenure at TCU. With both TCU and Colorado, he built a reputation as an energizer and spark plug. At 6’ 11” and 265 lbs., Lampkin brings a blend of size, physicality and finesse which will be incredibly valuable for Autry to tap into.

A combination of depth issues plus injuries left last year’s Orange struggling to compete on the inside. Syracuse relied mainly on a fast-paced offense to make up for its defensive and rebounding limitations. Outside of being Syracuse’s most experienced player next year (104 games, 87 starts, three appearances in the NCAA Tournament), Lampkin provides some necessary stability at the five — something the team rarely had last season.

Lampkin is a pure five who mainly operates on the block as an interior scorer (0 three-point attempts in four years). He’s also developed as a passer- averaging over 2 assists per game. Defensively, he doesn’t produce many steals (career 0.5 SPG) nor blocks (career 0.3 BPG), but has the all-around size to hold up just fine.

Regarding his role on the team, two main questions come to mind: 1) are we presuming Lampkin is the starting five, 2) how does he fit alongside five-star forward Donnie Freeman and 3) how will Autry balance his minutes at center with Naheem McLeod (or if Autry decides to shift to small-ball)?

Lucas Taylor

Perimeter shooting and secondary scoring were team needs Autry aimed to address, and Lucas Taylor certainly projects to provide a bit of both.

After two quiet years at Wake Forest, Taylor’s production ballooned in his first and only year at Georgia State. He averaged a career-high 14.5 points on 41% shooting and emerged last year as the leading scorer for the Panthers. Taylor will now look to bring his on- and off-ball offensive creation partly to replace what Syracuse lost with the departures of Judah Mintz and Quadir Copeland.

Taylor’s calling card is easily the outside shot. He shot over 35% from three on nearly six attempts per game last year and is a career 35% three-point shooter (on 3.6 APG). That is huge for the Orange. Taylor fired away 181 three-point attempts last year, which would’ve been second-best on last year’s team behind Chris Bell (200 attempts).

The good news for Taylor: the efficiency could go up across the board. The leap from Georgia State to the ACC is massive, but he also won’t have to be the primary creator on Syracuse. A six-foot-five and 200 lbs. frame should make Taylor at least viable defending other twos.

Jyare Davis

Out of all the new additions, is it fair to say Jyare Davis (17.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.4 APG in 2023-24) is the biggest wildcard entering next year?

The reasons: with the losses of Copeland, Justin Taylor, Maliq Brown and Benny Williams, Syracuse essentially lost its entire forward rotation from last year (outside of Bell). Davis, who previously played three years at Delaware, is another capable on-ball scorer (15+ PPG in two straight years) who loves to attack the rim and score mainly on the inside. Physically, he’s also built like a pure three (which Syracuse didn’t really have last year).

Davis played over 33 minutes per game the past two years with Delaware. He can and will play a substantial role in Autry’s rotation based on his rebounding.

But, where he fits in the rotation depends mainly on 1) can Syracuse’s guards shoot well enough to give Davis (career 24.6% from three) the needed space to operate on the block, and 2) how he fits alongside the rest of Syracuse’s frontcourt (especially if he’s playing next to Lampkin or McLeod).

Jaquan Carlos

As with Taylor, Jaquan Carlos is expected to help make up some of the offensive production lost during the offseason.

Carlos averaged career-highs in points (10.4), rebounds (4.4), assists (6.3) and steals (1.6) as a full-time starter for Hofstra last year. He improved as a three-point shooter, making 34.4% of his 3.9 attempts per game. On offense, he’s a proven playmaker who can also score both on the perimeter and inside slashing to the rim when needed.

His fit with Syracuse is going to be interesting, to say the least. He’s essentially the only pure point guard on the roster. He, Taylor and J.J. Starling collectively will be the main players initiating the offense, setting the rest of the team up and generating decent looks. Like Davis, Carlos (35.5 MPG last year, 32+ MPG in consecutive years) had a major role at Hofstra.

Is he the presumptive starter? Potentially. But Carlos’ skill set is versatile enough that regardless on if he starts or plays as the first guard off the bench, he’ll play a significant factor keeping the Orange’s point guard play steady.

Some final thoughts: Autry embracing experience and versatility with his transfer portal commitments felt like the right move. Overall, it feels like Autry struck the balance of addressing last year’s weaknesses, getting some more (versatile) depth and maintaining roster flexibility past 2024-25. We’ll have to see how it plays out on the court, but on paper, there’s a good amount to feel optimistic about.


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