Former Villanova forward Cole Swider announced plans Saturday night to join the Syracuse University men’s basketball team.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound junior posted his verbal commitment to social media, which was then shared by the official SU athletics accounts. His status was updated on the transfer portal list at verbalcommits.com to reflect his intentions to join the Orange.
“All glory to God, I will be committing to Syracuse University,” Swider posted.
Swider is the second addition from the transfer portal for SU after losing three players, all in the past week since suffering a 62-46 season-ending loss to Houston on March 27 in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim signed Marquette transfer guard Symir Torrence to a financial aid agreement earlier this week to join SU as a sophomore next season.
The addition of Torrence was the first move to offset the departures of freshman guard Kadary Richmond, redshirt sophomore forward Robert Braswell, and redshirt freshman center John Bol Ajak.
In 25 games for the Wildcats this year, Swider averaged 5.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 makes from behind the 3-point arc in 18.8 minutes. He shot 40.2 percent from long range this year and 35.7 percent for his career, making 86 total 3-pointers in 77 career appearances for Villanova.
The native of Portsmouth, R.I., was a consensus four-star and top-50 recruit out of St. Andrews High School in the Class of 2018 recruiting cycle. Syracuse was among his final five choices before initially committing to Villanova.
Swider could slide into the reserve forward role vacated by Braswell, and would figure to compete for a starting spot. Syracuse could still receive another roster boost from the transfer portal or the incoming freshman class.
Syracuse is expected to return starting guards Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III, starting forward Alan Griffin, and emerging sophomore center Jesse Edwards. Star forward Quincy Guerrier’s status is to be determined as he tests the NBA Draft waters.
The Swider and Torrence additions will provide critical experience to go with some intriguing young potential contributors next year.
Two returning freshmen — forward Woody Newton and center Frank Anselem — are slated to return while five-star forward Benny Williams will join the mix as SU’s lone incoming freshman.