With Dion Waiters selected fourth in the NBA draft last week, Syracuse hoops will be relying on Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche to carry the backcourt this season. There may never be a two-guard with the same swagger as Dion, but SU will be looking to replace the explosiveness Dion brought to the floor. That X-Factor helped push Syracuse to the Elite 8, and where might the Orange find that in upcoming seasons?
Enter 2013 SF Ishmail Wainright. He’s got Dion’s intensity and skill in Kris Joseph’s body at forward. Wainright grew up in Missouri, but is the latest prospect to come out of Montrose Christian (Rockville, MD), which has produced stars like Kevin Durant.
Wainwright clocks in at a long 6’6”, 220 pounds. He’s a not-so small forward who attacks the basket instinctively and creates space for his teammates in the paint. ESPN’s scouts say his high basketball IQ combined with professional size make him a top tier product.
“His physical qualities alone make him an elite level prospect, but his feel for the game on both ends of the floor and fundamentals will allow him to be one of the better players in the 2013 class.”
“Ishmail is a fluid athlete, running the wing in transition and finishing plays on drives to the basket. Offensively, Ishmail is most effective using the bounce to attack the basket and creating scoring opportunities for himself or for others.”
Now for even more good news: Syracuse is one of four top schools on Wainright’s list, one that includes offers from 12 schools.
“I’m most interested in Syracuse, Kansas, Missouri, and Florida. Those are the schools standing out to me most right now.”
IW grew up in Raytown, MO in the heart of Kansas City. That’s just 45 minutes from KU and about 90 minutes from Mizzou’s campus. But he’s considering two east coast schools and says the most important must-have for him is a good relationship with the coaching staff. That bond has already started with SU.
“I’m tight with Coach Autry from Syracuse.”
Wainright has already committed once, selecting then de-committed from Mizzou early on. Although his recruitment is still open, Missouri remains in his 4. Before March Madness, IW said the success of each of his top four schools in the tournament would be important to his final decision. At the time Ishmail stated:
“How teams do in the NCAA tournament is going to have a big impact. I want to see how I’d fit into each team’s system and how well they do.”
Both Syracuse and Florida exited in the Elite Eight. Kansas raced to the national championship game where it lost to Kentucky. Mizzou didn’t make it out of the first round, knocked off in a historic 15-2 upset by Norfolk State.
As for the second part, Syracuse has run virtually the same “system” for the entirety of the Boeheim era: stockpile length and work the 2-3 zone to maximize possessions on offense.
It seems Syracuse has a great chance of landing Wainright. If it does, SU might have found a source of intensity at the forward position.
Posted: Jake Moskowitz