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SU Hoops: A View from the Top

After the Christmas Heist, SU is sitting pretty alongside evil Kentucky.

Syracuse Basketball is doing remarkably well in the recruiting department according to one scouting service.  The updated Scout Top 100 rankings have been released and the Orange has its fingerprints all over it.

Syracuse is sitting pretty, with Rakeem Christmas at #10 and the Trevor Cooney/Michael Carter Williams combo who both are ranked in the Top-60.

Also worth mentioning is the enigmatic Shaq Thomas is still listed as an Orange recruit. We’ll see if that ever comes to fruition or just another Andray Blatche-type scenario. (Blatche floated around prep schools because of clearance issues until he became draft eligible.)

One thing we know for sure is that Kentucky is still ridiculously good at this.

We all know John Calipari has emerged as the preeminent powerbroker in 21st century recruiting thus far. When these rankings came out, it only reassured us of all that.

It’s sickening. Cal has three of the Top-6 recruits in the country, all listed at different positions. Meaning not only is he stockpiling top-tier talent, but he’s also picking and choosing the best at every position.

Is it fair to compare the ‘Cuse’s efforts to that of the Wildcats? No. SU doesn’t double as an auto loan shark/ auction bidder. Nor does it have the services of Worldwide Wes, who may have to jump off the Kentucky bandwagon, according to Fizz Friend Pete Thamel.

The ‘Cuse is on a roll. Don’t let the Wildcats’ absurd dominance make you believe anything else.

Posted: Ted Conroy.

5 Comments on this Post

  1. L.A.Orange

    Calipari has these top kids convinced to commit to UK by selling the collegiate version of the Miami Heat’s “Dream Team” concept. Even if there’s nothing nefarious, however unlikely, going on with the Wildcats hoops program, the thought of dominating the NCAA basketball scene would be pretty enticing to any high school kid. Hopefully, ‘Cuse can continue to recruit top level talent, play unselfish, team-oriented ball, and beat UK. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

  2. The only thing Calipari has recruits convinced of is that if they come to Kentucky they can be one and done and drafted in the first round. and lets be honest he’s right, See: this years draft (Rose, Bledsoe, Cousins Orton, Patterson). its all about the $$$ for the kids and families.

  3. L.A.Orange

    I’m gonna have to agree with Chris. The “one-and-done and off you go to the NBA and its millions” scenario is probably the main factor. I definitely think it’s part of the pitch. Combine the two (Chris’s and my take) and I believe you have the whole picture – minus any financial motivators, of course.

    Calipari is a college coach. He and UK Alumni want Championships. If he gets it done with one-and-done types, neither Calipari nor the Alumni care. It solidifies him in the history books as a winner and keeps the fat (wild) cat Alums happy.

    Most kids of top notch caliber want/expect to become NBA lottery picks – but they also want to win Championships. I certainly did as a high schooler!

    Calipari sells it as sort of a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.’ Chris is right – I’m sure Calipari highlights the ever growing list of UK players that were drafted in the first round and making millions as 19 year olds.

    Combine the two – let’s win a NCAA Championship AND you become an NBA lottery pick in one year – and you’ve got one heck of a sales pitch to entice a 17-18 year old….

  4. I think the whole high school talent ranking system is misleading and inaccurate. It is much worse in football than basketball because of the number of players involved but basketball player rankings are still poor. So many of these high school phenoms fail when they get to the next level. They don’t have the work ethic required to be great players. They listen to all the hype and start to believe the rules are different for them. Calipari may be a great recruiter but he is not a great coach. Getting a bunch of one and done players on your team will not help you win the National Championship which is why he will never win one.

  5. The UK argument being talked here doesn’t make sense. Calipari or UK does not make those players one-and-done NBA loterry picks. They would be that wherever they went. There is more to it than that. I mean if Calipari had a track record of taking kids rate in the 30’s or 40’s into lottery picks, then that is something to recruit based on. But to ake the #1 ranked prospect and then he becomes a lottery pick? Are people really buying that Calipari did that? All he did was not screw them up so bad that they went from a lottery lock to undrafted!

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