Grant Enters Draft, Leaves Syracuse In Rebuilding Mode

Syracuse forward Jerami Grant is entering his name into the NBA Draft, Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel reported Monday afternoon. Thamel is reporting that the forward will sign an agent.

Grant just finished his sophomore season, in which he averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

All major mock drafts have Grant going in the top 20 of the first round. He showcased his extraordinary potential during Syracuse’s 25-0 start to the season. But he injured his back toward the end of the season, and the Orange’s year started going downhill once he became limited.

The Orange are now entering a rebuilding year after losing point guard Tyler Ennis and Grant to the NBA, as well as C.J. Fair and Baye Mousa Keita to graduation. Either rising sophomore Tyler Roberson, who didn’t play as well this season as was hoped, or five-star incoming freshman Chris McCullough will have to fill Grant’s starting spot.

Syracuse will now be thin in the backcourt and the frontcourt entering next season. Coach Jim Boeheim only has 10 scholarship players on next year’s roster. Center DaJuan Coleman is recovering from a leg injury and won’t be available at the beginning of next season, and he might not be able to play at all in 2014-15.

Here is what Syracuse’s depth chart is looking like right now:

PG – Kaleb Joseph, Michael Gbinije

SG – Trevor Cooney, Buss Patterson

SF – B.J. Johnson

PF – Tyler Roberson, Chris McCullough

C – Rakeem Christmas, Chinonso Obokoh

With Grant, Ennis, Fair and Keita gone, Syracuse is losing 59.1 percent of all of its minutes played last season. The Orange lose 62.3 percent of their scoring, 56.2 percent of their rebounding and 70.9 percent of their assists from a season ago.

While Syracuse has plenty of talent, it won’t have the depth or experience to truly contend for an ACC championship, in all likelihood. With this news, which followed reports that Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell will stay for his junior season, the Orange lost at least one spot in the preseason ACC projections.