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We Got Him! Top 5 Recruit Dajuan Coleman Chooses Hometown Syracuse

D.A.: “Beware of digesting DC’s decision with more a sigh of relief than jubilation. Despite the ever-present fear he would choose elswhere, Orange Nation should be thrilled right now. The prospect of losing a top 5 recruit from your backyard after putting in so much effort would have been devastating, but this could truly be a difference-maker for SU. Props also to Team Coleman. They clearly identified three finalists early on, laid out a reasonable timetable and eventually took the only official visits he needed (SU and UK). When The Fizz has spoken to him, he’s come off as mature and level-headed (which he also did in today’s press conference). This is rare for a young man who has had the college basketball world thrown at him since middle school. Remember how far SU hoops has come. In the years following the glory era of the 80s, Jim Boeheim was not pulling in highly ranked recruiting classes, instead developing talent and grooming lesser athletes. But the last decade has been a steady cascade of McDonald’s All-Americans and elite players. Troy Weaver, Rob Murphy, Mike Hopkins and now Adrian Autry have changed the expectations of the talent SU can collect. What a five-day period for Syracuse fans. A tipping-point win for the football program and now the truest of game-changers for the hoops squad. Add in a preseason top 5 basketball team (without Coleman) plus a move to the ACC, and Syracuse may be entering it’s modern golden age.”

Alex Plavin: “This is about Jim Boeheim flexing his muscle on the recruiting trail and showing the country that Syracuse can recruit with any elite program. People including myself have doubted Coleman would end up at SU and not in the arms of Big Blue Nation. However, it was always going to be Syracuse for Coleman, saying he decided about a month ago. The combination of his family wanting him to stay, the allure of being a local star and continuing the Jamesville-Dewitt legacy at Syracuse were simply too much to resist. Coleman told me it just feels right to stay home. I’m sure the residents of Syracuse couldn’t agree more.”

Craig Hoffman: “There was massive concern in Orange Nation when Rob Murphy left for Eastern Michigan. While there was concern about losing his ability on the bench, the big question is would SU be able to keep it up on the recruiting trail. Arinze Onuaku, Donte Green, Wes Johnson, Kris Joseph and many others were Murphy’s guys. He helped bring in the Three Amigos. And then there was DaJuan Coleman looming. Hopkins was the lead, but having Murphy around wouldn’t be a bad thing. Now, with Coleman headed to SU, Jerami Grant in the bag and Amile Jefferson still in the wings, Murphy’s name isn’t being brought up at all. Does that mean that Murphy really wasn’t that good? No, but it does mean that Hoptry might just be able to pick up where Murphkins left off.”

Steve Neikam: “Dajuan Coleman’s commitment is a monumental recruiting victory for a few reasons. First, the possibility of a prospect this highly touted growing up around the SU program and spending years building relationships with the coaching staff only to jilt them at the altar would have been devastating. Also, this commitment goes a long way towards supporting SU’s standing as a national recruiting power. Make no mistake about it, with Kentucky and Ohio State involved, Coleman’s recruitment was a national battle, even if it was fought on Syracuse turf. Coach Cal is the recruiting Godfather because of his charm and knack for churning out lottery picks. Anytime you can beat the Don, it’s a major victory. Calipari doesn’t often lose recruits he highly covets, but this time Boeheim, Hopkins and company protected their turf and sent Cal away empty-handed. The ability of this staff to win high-profile battles like this one will only become important as the program prepares for head-to-head competition with Duke and Carolina.”

Andrew Kanell: “He’s a local kid, he played with Brandon Triche in high school, and he shares a nickname with one of the greatest big men in SU history. There’s absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t be ‘Cuse-bound. Kudos to Boeheim and Hopkins for pursuing him early and often, but by landing Coleman they’ve simply done what they were supposed to do. Losing him to Calipari would have been a gigantic disappointment, while getting him is merely an expected accomplishment. DC 2.0’s talent is worth getting excited about, but his commitment itself isn’t a landscape-altering event.”
Kevin Fitzgerald: “I can’t wait to see DC in orange. And not because he has one of the best post presences in the nation and can score at will. We all know that. But because Coleman will be an ENFORCER. At 6’9″, 280 lbs he will be able to out muscle guys down low. He will do the dirty work for a team, which doesn’t have an intimidating presence at center. Melo was anything but a threat on the blocks, Christmas isn’t really a true center, and Keita just doesn’t have the sheer body mass that Coleman has. It’s going to be exciting watching Coleman going toe to toe with some of the best. He’ll make people think twice before they venture into that 2-3 zone. If he shows that ‘110 percent’ of effort he promises, he’ll be the powerful, intimidating force this Syracuse team needs.”

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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