Syracuse University has changed in a variety of ways over the last 7 days, and last Friday’s Orange Madness triggered most of it.
Chancellor Nancy Canter announced she would step down at the end of her term in 2014. A man was stabbed at the Carrier Dome, which ended Orange Madness early. Two official visitors over the weekend verbally committed and, in fact, tripled the Orange’s men’s basketball recruiting class for next year.
Monday night led to the commitment of three-star power forward Chinonso Obokoh of Bishop Kearney (NY). A long, lean and defensive oriented shot-blocker, Obokoh gave his pledge to the Orange following his campus visit. The 6-foot-9 big man picked Jim Boeheim and company over the likes of Texas, Temple, James Madison and Villanova. Obokoh spent the majority of his weekend on campus with another official visitor.
On Tuesday, Obokoh’s weekend running mate also chose SU. Three-star small forward B.J. Johnson of Lower Merion (PA) committed to the Orange – a dream school in his mind. A 6-foot-7 wing prospect can shoot, slash, rebound, and is only a 16-year old senior. Johnson chose Syracuse over Rutgers, Villanova and Temple. SU went two-for-two over ‘Nova this week and the season hasn’t even started yet.
These two join current Syracuse commit Tyler Ennis, who was also on campus. All three are expected to sign in November during the Fall Signing Period.
While it may seem greedy to hope for even more talent when the Orange joins the ACC, there’s a lot of buzz about the combo forward and shooting guard position.
Syracuse missed out on top-25 shooting guards James Young (Kentucky) and Wayne Selden (Kansas), but had Rysheed Jordan on campus for his official visit. He is down to seven schools, but the Orange are looking at backup plans. SU has began recruiting former Indiana signee Ron Patterson, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard at Brewster Academy (NH).
Three main options in top-30 prospects remain at combo forward. Tyler Roberson, Noah Vonleh and Jermaine Lawrence are all wide open. Roberson was on campus a few weekends back. Vonleh is now down to Indiana, North Carolina, Georgetown, UConn, Ohio State and Syracuse. He has set two official visits. Jermaine Lawrence has seven schools he likes, but could be focusing on some more than others.
Tune in to Orange Fizz Radio tomorrow morning on The Score 1260 starting at 9a as Team Fizz will speak with new commits Obokoh and Johnson, and break down the remaining recruits on the board in Lawrence, Vonleh, Jordan, Roberson and Patterson.
Posted: Alex Kline