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Syracuse Basketball: Why Brandon Triche Will Lead Orange in Scoring This Year

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Brandon Triche #20 of the Syracuse Orange attempts to save the ball from going out of bounds in the first half against the Kansas State Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

Several key Syracuse Orange hoops players will see increased roles as the team heads into the 2012-13 season, and that includes senior guard Brandon Triche.

The 6'4" combo guard has been more of a complementary player during his first three years of college, but Jim Boeheim needs him to step up into a leadership role on the court and in the locker room.

Syracuse needs him to become a vocal leader and a primary piece of the offense. Triche will answer the bell by leading the team in scoring and consistently setting the tone and pace for the Orange offense.

With the top two scorers and the assists leader no longer running the Dome floor, Triche and the rest of Boeheim's cast must step up and re-establish an effective offensive chemistry.

Triche's scoring numbers were down in 2011-12 compared to two years ago, but that's largely due to the incredible depth of last year's team and the emergence of Dion Waiters.

Triche's efficiency, three-point shooting percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio have improved each year of his career, so an increase in playing time and playmaking responsibility will buoy his scoring numbers significantly.

If Triche can shoot 35 percent or better beyond the arc, continue his mid-range success and have a PER in the 19-22 range, he's destined to score 14-15 points and deal four to five assists per game. He's got the mental makeup and the athletic wherewithal to do it.

Considering how the roster is currently constructed, Syracuse has solid pieces at each position, but not necessarily prolific scorers. Michael Carter-Williams will be a great facilitator, but he won't score in bunches, C.J. Fair and Rakeem Christmas' shot-creating skills are limited, and DaJuan Coleman will be getting acclimated as a freshman.

Triche, on the other hand, has the combination of experience, fundamentals and physical tools to fill up the hoop on a consistent basis.

There are a few promising numbers that point to  future uptick in scoring: in 22.5 minutes per game in 2011-12, he scored 9.4 points per game along with 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and a 19.9 PER. With 28-32 minutes per game, the opportunities are exciting.

While playing on the wing or running the point, Triche has always been good at diagnosing the situation, putting pressure on the defense and knocking down timely shots.

We'll see much more of that this coming year as he leads the new-look Orange in scoring and establishes himself as one of the premier players in the Big East.

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