Syracuse forward Woody Newton committed to Oklahoma State basketball on Friday from the transfer portal. The freshman averaged 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Orange in limited action last season.
Newton, who is 6-foot-8, may have seen the writing on the wall with incoming transfers to Syracuse such as Cornell forward Jimmy Boeheim, the older brother of Buddy — both sons of head coach Jim Boeheim. Or it may just be that he’s seeking a better place or an expanded role under OSU head coach Mike Boynton. After December, Newton never saw more than five minutes in a game as Syracuse instead gave more minutes to Robert Braswell.
As a 6-foot-8 forward who can stretch the floor and shoot from distance, Woody Newton gives the Cowboys a versatile piece on offense for next season.
A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Newton was a four-star recruit when he joined the Orange last year. He was recruited by schools such as Arkansas, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Georgetown. He made his Syracuse debut against Niagara, tallying nine points, five rebounds, two steals, and two assists.
Newton gives the Cowboys size and athleticism in the frontcourt. He has range, too — he shot 39% from beyond the arc during his limited action his freshman season, like in this shot he made in that early December contest against Niagara, posted by Capitol Hoops:
In the team’s next game, against Rider, Newton scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds while shooting 3-for-4 on treys. Though his role was diminished as the season continued, Newton did appear in one of the Orange’s NCAA Tournament games — as he found time to make a three-pointer in the team’s first-round win against San Diego State.
Seeing Newton run the floor with Isaac Likelele and the Boone twins next season should be an enticing prospect for OSU fans. It may allow Boynton to go more up-tempo and it will certainly stretch opposing defenses, who will have to use a big to cover a shooter 20+ feet from the basket.
The Maryland product is the first of OSU commitments during spring 2021, and the Cowboys have two more available scholarships after the departures of Cade Cunningham, Ferron Flavors, and Dee Mitchell.