With Syracuse losing Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney to graduation, Kaleb Joseph to transfer, and potentially Malachi Richardson to the NBA Draft, the Orange needed to go out and shore up its backcourt for next season.
On Sunday, Jim Boeheim and the Orange took a step in the right direction.
Colorado State grad transfer John Gillon announced on Twitter that he will head to Syracuse for his final season of eligibility in 2016-17.
Guess I bleed orange now #cusenation pic.twitter.com/F6EvC50nJN
— John Gillon (@John_Gillon1) May 1, 2016
Gillon averaged 13.2 points and 3.9 assists per game last season for Larry Eustachy and the Rams. The 6-foot point guard had also been considering Texas A&M, who loses Alex Caruso and Anthony Collins, and Oklahoma, who has Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins departing.
“He looked me in the eye and told me all the things he expected of me,” Gillon said of Boeheim, according to the Syracuse.com. “He needed a solid player at the point guard position. He wanted someone who could make plays for people and score.”
Given the Orange’s uncertainty at the position in 2016-17, there’s a pretty good chance Gillon starts next year in the backcourt. He’s an athletic, tough 22-year-old who started his career at Arkansas Little-Rock, then transferred to Colorado State before finding his final home in upstate New York. He can get to the rim, typically hits 3s at a reasonable clip and makes plays for others with solid passing skill. The key adjustment for him at the higher level of competition in the ACC will be limiting turnovers, as he possesses a 17.2 percent turnover rate for his career.
Overall though, this is a solid addition for the Orange, who might not be done adding players as they still have a couple of scholarships open for the upcoming season.