An interesting survey done by CBSSports.com published this morning led to an obvious conclusion: Syracuse basketball has a history of being on the losing end of some of the shadiest recruiting battles in the country.
A group of college coaches were polled anonymously and asked about which players created the dirtiest recruitments over the past decade. Syracuse didn’t land any of the names on the list, but were in on a quite a few of them.
Shabazz Muhammad took home the top billing, as the incoming UCLA freshman won the dirtiest battle with 15% of the vote.
Second place? Anthony Davis, the Unibrow, who landed at Kentucky. Remember Syracuse was in on the NBA’s top pick, but rumors abounded about a crazy love triangle that led the Chicago Sun-Times to report Davis’ family asked schools for up to $150,000 for his commitment.
Tobias Harris also landed on list. The New York product announced his decision at the ESPN Zone in Manhattan, with plenty of Orange fans watching. His decision to attend Tennessee was met with a chorus of boos. While it was a tad unbecoming to jeer a high school kid’s choice of school, it shows what an intense recruitment it had become for SU.
Also receiving votes? How about Josh Selby. The Syracuse target made Orange fans drool for months, only to choose Kansas. He had a huge beginning to his Jayhawks career, but baggage always suggested Selby was more trouble than he was worth.
New York City prodigy Lance Stephenson also landed on the list, and SU is usually in on the top Big Apple kids. But the Orange was never one of his finalists, as the controversial guard eventually chose Cincinnati.
When you’re a big fish in a big pond, which is exactly what Syracuse hoops is, you’re going to lose some high-profile battles. We all know the college basketball recruiting game can get grimy. The Orange have done a very good job in the last decade nailing down told talent. But it looks like they’ve been on the losing end of some of the dirtier battles out there, and SU fans probably don’t mind.