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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim answered reporters’ questions about why Benny Williams’ minutes are so limited, when he turns to Symir Torrence and how Cole Swider can become more aggressive offensively, among many other things on Monday.
After failing to defeat the Seminoles in the pair’s second matchup, the Orange will play Clemson on Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome before traveling to No. 6 Duke for a Saturday afternoon matchup.
Here’s what Boeheim said about Syracuse (8-9, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) on the ACC coaches conference call:
Benny Williams’ minimal playing time
When asked about freshman Williams’ limited minutes — he did not play on Saturday in Syracuse’s loss to Florida State, and played just four minutes in a double-digit win over Pittsburgh — Boeheim was blunt.
“There’s nothing to ask about Benny,” Boeheim said via Zoom. “He’s struggled in every game he’s played in, and he’s struggled in every practice. He’s just not ready right now to help us, and I don’t know why anybody doesn’t see that.”
Boeheim said previously on Jan. 3 that Williams’ next steps of development were improving in the post. Boeheim called him a “face-the-bucket” player and also said Williams needs to develop further on the perimeter. He’s also reiterated that many freshmen struggle the way Williams is currently.
Cole Swider’s increasing offensive aggressiveness
Boeheim has said on multiple occasions that Swider needs to be more aggressive offensively, most recently after SU’s overtime loss to Wake Forest. Swider has echoed that same narrative — after the Pitt game, he told reporters via Zoom that he’s still trying to balance when to attack against a smaller defender, and when to hold back against bigger ones.
Swider showed some improvement in Syracuse’s loss to Florida State, notching 17 points and shooting 4-of-7 from deep.
“I’m gonna keep on being an aggressive player, and hopefully that leads to some wins for us in the future,” Swider said on Saturday after the FSU game.
Monday, Boeheim elaborated further by adding that SU is working to get Swider more shots. “When he makes shots, everybody wonders why he doesn’t get more shots,” Boeheim said.
He added the Orange got Swider some good looks early in the FSU game, but after the forward converted a couple, FSU’s defenders learned to stay with him. Then it was harder to find Swider as many shooting opportunities, Boeheim said.
In what scenarios — and why — does SU turn to Symir Torrence?
Boeheim said after the FSU game that he thought the small lineup that featured three guards — with Torrence in Jimmy Boeheim’s usual place — was successful. Torrence helped SU move the ball up the floor when Joe Girard III was struggling to handle the pressure, Boeheim said.
“Symir was able to get to the basket, so it was an easy decision,” Boeheim said. “He helped us speed-wise and ball-handling wise.”
But when asked whether there were other scenarios that Boeheim would turn to Torrence, Boeheim’s response was more bleak.
“He’s struggling to score. He’s shooting it poorly from the free throw line, from the field, from the 3,” Boeheim said. “We’d like to see him help us, but we’ve been limited to our starters because they’ve been getting the job done and the guys on the bench haven’t played very well.”
Clemson head coach praises Buddy Boeheim, SU’s offense
When Clemson head coach Brad Brownell was asked about defending Buddy ahead of the Syracuse-Clemson matchup on Tuesday night, Brownell praised Buddy and the SU offense. He said he’s watched numerous SU players, like Buddy, who have developed throughout their career.
“Buddy came in as a 3-point shooter and he’s leaving as a guy who’s a three-level scorer,” Brownell said. “He can take you to 15 feet, 12-feet and score over the top of you. He can make 3s — he makes 3s off the move.”
Brownell also praised Girard, Jimmy and Jesse Edwards, calling the Orange “one of the more dangerous, difficult offensive teams in our league to guard.”
“They’re a terrific offensive team,” Brownell said.
The post Jim Boeheim discusses Williams, Torrence, Swider at weekly ACC conference call appeared first on The Daily Orange.
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