The 2015-16 Syracuse basketball Orange are down a few scholarship players due to NCAA sanctions. Despite those restrictions, they were still able to create a roster filled with talent and versatility. Nearly every player on the roster can play multiple positions, allowing Syracuse to have only three primary backups but still giving the starters appropriate rest when needed.
Take the point guard position as the first example. Michael Gbinije will start, but he can also play shooting guard or small forward. Backup Kaleb Joseph can play either guard position. Another reserve, freshman Franklin Howard, can also play the one or the two.
Move to the frontcourt and you have more versatile players. Starting small forward Malachi Richardson can also play shooting guard. Starting power forward Tyler Roberson can play small forward if needed as he did last season at times. Reserve Tyler Lydon can play either forward position and has been doing some work at center for emergency situations.
That gives Syracuse a lot of room to play with their lineup in order to keep players fresh, combat opposing teams' strengths, account for foul trouble or other reasons.
Syracuse can go big with a lineup of Gbinije, Richardson, Lydon, Roberson and Coleman. They can spread the floor to maximize shooting with Joseph, Cooney, Richardson, Gbinije and Lydon. They can go in-between with Gbinije, Cooney, Richardson, Roberson and Lydon.
The starters will be Gbinije, Cooney, Richardson, Roberson and Coleman. But the ability of Joseph to come in and replace either Gbinije, Cooney or Richardson, and Lydon to replace either Richardson, Cooney, Roberson or Cooney gives the Orange a lot of options depending on the situation.
This versatility is key given the roster restrictions they are combatting. If all of that talent comes together, it also gives Syracuse the ability to matchup with just about any style. That will serve them well come postseason play.