The good news for Syracuse is its most accurate perimeter shooter may still return to the team before the end of the season. The bad news for Syracuse he will still sit out at least two more games.
According to the Post-Standard, senior James Southerland will appear before a Syracuse University panel next Thursday to have his appeal heard to regain eligibility. The 6-foot-8 forward, has missed four games since being declared ineligible prior on Jan. 12 as a result of an undisclosed academic issue.
Syracuse has won three of its four games without Southerland, but his absence will no doubt be felt the next two games. Up next for the sixth-ranked Orange (18-2, 6-1) is a visit to Pittsburgh on Saturday, followed by a home game against Notre Dame two nights later.
Southerland was Syracuse’s second-leading scorer, averaging 13. 6 points and 5.2 rebounds to help lead the Orange to the top of the Big East standings. He was the team's primary 3-point shooting threat this season, sinking more than two threes per game and hitting 37.5 percent of his attempts from behind the arc.
The absence of Southerland became even more damaging this week when center Dajuan Coleman underwent a surgical procedure on his left knee that will sideline him for the next four weeks.
Freshman forward Jerami Grant has performed well in an increased role in Southerland's absence, averaging 10 points and 5.5 rebounds the past four games. He'll need to continue that surge for however long Southerland misses, whether that's two games or longer.