Men's Basketball

Boeheim says Coleman will be game-time decision versus Virginia Tech

Syracuse center DaJuan Coleman will be a game-time decision for the team’s game against Virginia Tech at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, head coach Jim Boeheim said on the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches’ teleconference on Monday.

“He’s working out now,” Boeheim said. “I don’t know what his status will be until probably game time.”

Coleman, who is recovering from a left leg contusion, has not played in Syracuse’s last two games, but did dress and warm up before the Orange’s 49-44 win against Miami on Saturday. He was feeling better, Boeheim said after the game, but not well enough to be played outside of emergency circumstances.

On Friday, SU Athletics spokesman Pete Moore said the injury is around the knee area — the same knee that Coleman underwent surgery for on Jan. 29, 2013 that caused him to miss eight games. However, Moore said that the team does not believe the two injuries are related. The sophomore center said he dropped 10-to-15 pounds before the start of the season in hopes of gaining speed and limiting the chance of re-injury.

If Coleman is unable to go, Jerami Grant is expected to start for the third straight game, while Rakeem Christmas will likely slide into the middle again.

For Christmas, those additional minutes could be beneficial in continuing to sharpen his post game.

The junior center is shooting 84.2 percent since the Orange’s win against St. John’s in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15. He’s gone from posting up on the rarest of occasions, to calling for the ball regularly.

“I’m getting a lot of confidence,” Christmas said after SU’s win over Miami. “I’m getting a lot of passes and posting it big, so I just want to get big and post the ball up strong.”

Christmas poured in a season-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting against Eastern Michigan last Tuesday and contributed two crucial baskets in the Orange’s comeback victory over the Hurricanes. After each game, SU head coach Jim Boeheim said the team needs to find more opportunities to get him the ball.

He echoed that sentiment on Monday.

“He’s got to work to get position, we’ve got to work to get him the ball,” Boeheim said. “He’s working hard, he’s getting better, and I’m happy with the progress he’s made.”

Top Stories