SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Baye Keita's role on the 2013-14 top-ranked Syracuse Orange has become even more important with the loss of DaJuan Coleman to injury. In Sunday night's win over Clemson, Keita sprained his right knee in the first half. He did not return to the game.
Head coach Jim Boeheim had no update immediately following the victory, but SU Athletics spokesman Pete Moore told the Daily Orange's Stephen Bailey that Keita is day-to-day.
Keita's status for Wednesday night's road game against Pittsburgh is in serious doubt. If he is unable to go, that would be a major blow to a Syracuse squad that was dominated on the glass (35-24) in the first matchup inside the Carrier Dome.
Talib Zanna was a force on the offensive boards, which kept the Panthers in the game. Both Keita and Rakeem Christmas were needed throughout that game, and the loss of Keita would be Syracuse at a serious disadvantage.
On Sunday, Boeheim adjusted to the loss of Keita by utilizing Jerami Grant in the middle of the zone with Christmas in foul trouble. Grant played admirably inside, helping the Orange extend their lead during Christmas and Keita's absence.
But the Panthers are a different animal. They are more physical inside and are strong on the glass.
If Keita is unable to go, look for Grant to see time in the middle again. Tyler Roberson would likely see more minutes, as would Michael Gbinije who has the versatility to play the wing. Syracuse's depth will certainly be tested.