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Down, Not Out: SU Hoops Target Ishmail Wainright Goes Under the Knife

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For Syracuse recruit Ishmail Wainright, this summer has taken a bit of a detour. Instead of the top-20 target in the Class of ’13 playing in invitational tournaments and wowing college scouts, Wainright underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in his ankle this past month. I-Dub is rated as the 4th best small forward in the country, but some wonder how this operation might affect his game. He says it has actually helped him.

“I’ve put on a lot of muscle, I call it ‘good weight.’”

Time off has also helped the 4-star SF to concentrate on schoolwork. He has narrowed down an incredibly lengthy offer list in order to pick seven finalists: Syracuse, UCLA, Texas, Florida, Baylor, Duke, and Arizona. The Missouri-born swingman will have his choice of the nation’s best programs. While his final choices are spread all around the country, Wainright says location won’t be important in his final decision.

“Doesn’t matter. I want a good fit.”

I-Dub is a man of few words. However, his on court talent speaks volumes. College coaches are more than high on him, saying at 6’6″, 220 lbs. he’s as fearless as a power forward in the lane while retaining the reliable 15-foot jumper of a small forward. One scouting report says:

“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.”

Wainright caught The Fizz’s eye earlier this year when he included Syracuse in a group of four schools he was “most interested in.” Now, that list has expanded to seven possible destinations. His biggest selling point as a player? He’s got the intensity and skill of Dion Waiters with the size and physique of a Kris Joseph.

Since Wainright won’t be front and center this summer since he’s not able to participate in important camps and tournaments (like the Nike Skills University one he was invited to most recently), it will be important to watch how he handles his recovery. The body he is playing in now will be the same, if a little lighter, than the one he may bring to Syracuse if he chooses Orange. His resiliency and recovery time may be an indication of how he responds to physical ailments at the next level.

His resting time is also a prime opportunity for Orange recruiters to do what they do best: stay in touch. I-Dub has moved closer to SU’s recruiting home base. He’s originally from Kansas City, but neither Kansas nor Missouri is on his list of finalists. He’s now playing at Montrose Christian in Rockville, MD and the Orange have solid Baltimore ties (which is only 45 miles away).

For now, I-Dub will have to run plays in his head as he waits for his ankle to sure up. Hopefully for him, the extra rest now will allow him to break ankles when he unleashes his ferocious game in the NCAA.

Posted: Jake Moskowitz

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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