By Max Feldman
O’shae Brissett, a 6 foot 8 combo forward, from Mississauga, Ontario has made himself known since the minute he stepped on campus at Syracuse. Going somewhat under the radar stateside as a high school recruit, Brissett is already proving to be a steal. According to U.S media, he was only a “3 star prospect” who spent his high school years at Findlay Prep, in Las Vegas, and at Athlete Institute Basketball Academy in Orangeville, ON. He chose Syracuse University over USC, Memphis and Oregon.
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Head Coach, is considered the master of the 2-3 zone in college basketball, working optimally when the defenders have length. Brissett has a 6 foot 11 wingspan, as well as a 8 foot 9 standing reach. This season, Syracuse’s shortest starter is 6 foot 5. Brissett has quickly picked up his intensity on defense, showing he fits the system to a tee.
Brissett’s ability to rebound has been impressive, as he currently leads the team with 9.2 boards per game. Offensively, he has been a go to option, as he has not attempted less than 11 shots in a game. Jim Boeheim is having a tough time taking O’Shae Brissett off the floor, as he is leading the team with 35 minutes per game, as a freshman.
Growing pains are expected, shown by his 24% three point percentage. With quick feet, and a good feel for the game, he is set up for success at Cuse. Boeheim has already demonstrated his trust in Brissett, making him a strong building block for the future of Cuse basketball.
On Saturday, December 9th, Brissett had his best offensive game as a collegiate player. He put up 20 points, going 7-12 from the field, adding 5 boards and 2 assists. Brissett also played all 40 minutes in Syracuse’s win over Colgate. He has had a double-double in five games thus far, and it appears that pace will not end in the near future.
Brissett is flashing more and more each game, as his ability to play both forward positions have made him a difficult matchup in every game. In Syracuse’ game against Toledo on November 23rd, the Orange were missing their top guard, Tyus Battle. Brissett slid into more of a lead role, scoring 17 points and adding 14 rebounds.
Following the game, Syracuse point guard Frank Howard said, “His potential is scary” and “He’s a freak athlete. He’s figuring the game out, his spots, his angles. He’s versatile, can play any position”(Syracuse.com) when asked about O’Shae’s performance.
Brissett’s career at Syracuse has just begun, but he already has Orange Nation excited about the future. He has room to put on muscle, and polish his skill set, with the prerequisite physicals for the NBA.
However, Brissett’s future is not clear yet, but it seems as though the league will be calling before O’shae completes four years at Syracuse. NBADraft.net lists Brissett as the 48th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Brissett is on trajectory to one day make it to the NBA, adding to the collection of modern Canadian’s making a living in the league.
In the meantime, Syracuse will focus on the present, as this Canadian works to help the Orange advance to 9-1 against an undefeated 8-0 Georgetown Hoyas Saturday.