I truly believe that among all the transfers from this offseason, Alan Griffin is the transfer that can provide the most value to his team, while he has All-ACC potential. Last season, Illinois was the best it has been in years, while people know about Ayo Dosunmu, Trent Frazier, Kofi Cockburn, and rightly so. The unsung hero of Brad Underwood’s team was Freshman Alan Griffin. In his Sophomore season, Griffin sported an 11.3 Box-Plus-Minus, which was behind only Obi Toppin (the National Player of the year), Xavier Tillman, and Killian Tillie. Being in that kind of company shows how simply great Griffin was last season.
Griffin’s stats weren’t eye-popping but his efficiency was, he averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season while shooting 48% from-the-field, 41% from deep, and 86% from the charity stripe. That’s crazy close to being a 50-40-90 guy, that kind of company is quite rare. Now at Syracuse, Griffin will be tossed into a larger role and could quite easily be the leading scorer on this Orange team. While most of Griffin’s production came on the offensive end, that’s not to say he is a slouch on the defensive side of the ball. While not being a top-notch defender, Griffin is a versatile defender at the shooting guard and wing spots. The patented Syracuse zone defense could allow Griffin to thrive on the defensive side too. I liken his progression to that of Elijah Hughes, the Former wing now entering the NBA, transferred in after a subpar season at East Carolina, and thrived this past season. The two players have similar measurables, Griffin being 6’5″ and 195 pounds, while Hughes is 6’6″ and 215 pounds. Griffin will step-in seamlessly into the Hughes role alongside Joseph Girard III, Buddy Boeheim, Bourama Sidibe, and Marek Dolezaj.
Griffin had to receive a waiver to be eligible this season for Jim Boeheim. Griffin rightfully received a waiver for coming back to New York being his home state. When you hear the top transfers this year you hear, Olivier Sarr, Romello White, Matt Haarms, Mac McClung, Carlik Jones, and Bryce Aiken to name a few. With Griffin’s ability, opportunity, and past production, I could easily see him not only being a key-cog for the Orange this season but a possible All-American. The talent is evident and he just fits so well into today’s Basketball. With how dependent the sport is when it comes to shooting and especially players with size being able to shoot, Griffin fits the bill.
Syracuse has a chance to be a top-end of the ACC team, even though oftentimes they end up a bubble team, this season may be different. With Griffin, Girard III, and Boeheim likely being the best 3-Point shooting trio in the country. That mixed in with the coaching style of Boeheim, this is a talented team.