Jim Boeheim discusses Williams, Torrence and Swider on ACC’s weekly conference call

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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim answered questions from reporters about why Benny Williams’ minutes are so limited when he turns to Symir Torrence and how Cole Swider can become more aggressive offensively, among other things Monday.

After failing to defeat the Seminoles in the pair’s second game, the Orange will face Clemson on Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome before heading to No. 6 Duke for a game on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s what Boeheim said about Syracuse (8-9, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) on the ACC coaching conference call:

Benny Williams’ minimum playing time

Asked about freshman Williams’ limited minutes — he didn’t play in Syracuse’s loss to Florida State on Saturday and played just four minutes in a double-digit win over Pittsburgh — Boeheim was told franc.

“There’s nothing to ask about Benny,” Boeheim said via Zoom. “He’s struggled in every game he’s played, and he’s struggled in every training. He’s just not ready at the moment to help us, and I don’t know why nobody sees that.

Boeheim previously said on Jan. 3 that Williams’ next stages of development are improving in the job. Boeheim called him a “bucket-faced” player and also said Williams needed to develop more on the perimeter. He also reiterated that many freshmen are struggling the way Williams is right now.

Cole Swider’s growing offensive aggression

Boeheim has repeatedly said Swider needs to be more aggressive offensively, most recently after SU’s overtime loss to Wake Forest. Swider echoed that same narrative – after the Pitt game, he told reporters via Zoom that he was still trying to balance when to attack against a smaller defender and when to hold back against bigger ones.

Swider showed some improvement in Syracuse’s loss to Florida State, scoring 17 points and shooting 4 of 7 from deep.

“I’m going to continue to be an aggressive player, and hopefully that will lead to wins for us in the future,” Swider said Saturday after the FSU game.

On Monday, Boeheim went further, adding that SU were working to get more shots from Swider. “When he makes shots, everyone wonders why he doesn’t get more shots,” Boeheim said.

He added that the Orange did a good job of Swider early in the FSU game, but after the striker converted a few, the FSU defenders learned to stick with him. Then it was harder to find Swider so many shooting opportunities, Boeheim said.

In what scenarios – and why – does the SU turn to Symir Torrence?

Boeheim said after the FSU game he thought the small lineup of three guards – with Torrence in Jimmy Boeheim’s usual spot – had pulled it off. Torrence helped SU move the ball on the floor when Joe Girard III struggled to handle the pressure, Boeheim said.

“Symir was able to get to the basket, so it was an easy decision,” Boeheim said. “He helped us in terms of speed and ball handling.”

But when asked if there were any other scenarios Boeheim would turn to Torrence, Boeheim’s response was more somber.

“He struggles to score. He shoots poorly from the free-throw line, from the field, from the 3,” Boeheim said. “We would like to see him help us, but we were limited to our starters because they did the job and the guys on the bench didn’t play very well.”

Clemson head coach praises SU forward Buddy Boeheim

When Clemson head coach Brad Brownell was asked about Buddy’s defense ahead of Tuesday night’s Syracuse-Clemson game, Brownell praised Buddy and the SU offense. He said he has watched many SU players, like Buddy, who have developed throughout their careers.

“Buddy came in as a 3-point shooter and he’s leaving as a guy who’s a three-tier scorer,” Brownell said. “He can take you 15ft, 12ft and score above you. He can do 3s – he does 3s out of motion.

Brownell also praised Girard, Jimmy and Jesse Edwards, calling the Orange “one of the most dangerous and hardest guarding offensive teams in our league.”

“They’re a terrific offensive team,” Brownell said.

Contact Roshan: [email protected] | @Roshan_f16

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