Syracuse Options Get Slimmer

Syracuse center DaJuan Coleman is the newest piece of the team to be sidelined. He responds to the team's most recent loss and more as they look forward.

Freshman center DaJuan Coleman came onto the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team squad already a strong physical specimen.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim stated at the team's media day that Coleman was in the best physical shape of his life coming into his first-ever collegiate season.

But since moving into Big East Conference play, Boeheim has used Coleman sparingly.

Coleman has only played double-digit minutes in two of the seven games where the Orange have faced Big East foes.

Despite coming out as a starter, Coleman has had the "Rakeem Christmas" treatment, entering as a starter, but playing few minutes, similar to how Christmas was used as a freshman last season.

The road match versus the Villanova Wildcats was no different, as Coleman played a mere seven minutes, coming in as a result of necessity after both freshman forward Jerami Grant and junior center Baye Keita fouled out.

"I mean, I got a shot so I had to take it and whatever I could to do to try to get the win, that's what I was gonna do," said Coleman. "So, my main focus was trying to get the win when I got out there."

Inside the seven minutes that he played against Villanova, Coleman failed to record any points or rebounds.

"Just gotta step up," Coleman expressed. "I mean when I was out there, I think I got like a loose ball or something but as a team we shoulda played better. I think we coulda won that game but we just gotta move forward."

"I mean it's real frustrating when you [are] playing good defense," Coleman added, speaking on the team as a whole. "We was up by six and they hit two corner shots. I mean, it's real frustrating for them to get it, but we just have to look forward to the next game."

The Orange will be moving forward for the next few weeks without Coleman, though, as a result of surgery on his left knee.

As far as what Coleman felt that Villanova did right that other teams who played Syracuse did not, he said, "They just kept playing. I mean they didn't quit."

Now the challenge will be for Coleman not to quit on his rehabilitation and continuing to learn as he grows in the collegiate game because the Orange cannot afford to lose another completely with uncertainty already alive in their environment.

Coleman shared his thoughts on Syracuse already having to play without senior forward James Southerland. "I think that [would] affect any team if you're losing a player," Coleman stated. "I mean, you don't have as much players on the bench that you can go to and you [don't] have [as many] options so, yeah, definitely hurt us. I think it [would] hurt any other team, too."

The Orange will now have to play without two members of their frontcourt, as Coleman joins Southerland in the inactive pool with the season edging closer to NCAA Tournament play.

Syracuse will face the Pittsburgh Panthers next on Saturday, February 2nd, at Noon ET.

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