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Boeheim & Hopkins Visit Peach Jam for ’15 Sharpshooter Malachai Richardson

Syracuse has already offered scholarships to six hoops prospects in the 2015 class, and the most recent has been on the Orange staff’s eyes for a long time. Roselle, New Jersey shooting guard Malachi Richardson received an SU offer after a big weekend at the Nike Peach Jam tourney in South Carolina. Derrick Jones (PA), Thomas Bryant (Rochester, NY), Chieck Diallo (Centereach, NY), Bryant Crawford (Washington, DC), and Isaiah Briscoe (Newark, NJ) are the other high school juniors with Syracuse offers. What makes Richardson stand out amongst the other candidates is his connections to the Orange.

The 6’6”, 195 pound sharp-shooter plays for Team Final of Philadelphia. Final has been one of the more prestigious AAU units in the country over the years. Five Star Basketball Magazine voted Team Final’s 2010 squad as one of the Top 10 AAU teams of all time. Who was featured? Top 5 NBA selection Dion Waiters and current Orange Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney. His high school, Roselle Catholic, produced incoming SU freshman Tyler Roberson.

Richardson averaged nearly 16 points per game to lead Team Final to the semi-finals in SC. He’s ranked 11th overall by ESPN in ’15, 19th overall by Rivals, and earned a spot in this year’s Mary Kline Classic. SU’s biggest competition early on for his services looks to be Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana continued its strong pursuit of Richardson at the Peach Jam event as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson and Crean were courtside for several games, according to Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall.

But Jim Boeheim and Mike Hopkins were in attendance also, according to the Post Standard’s Mike Waters. Richardson’s AAU coach Aaron Burt told Waters of Malachi’s gifted ability:

“He’s probably one of the best shooters in the country. He’s a great teammate, a great leader and a great person. He’ll be a real prize for somebody.”

A 6’6” lengthy, knock-down shooter is the Boeheim-Hopkins prototype. He fits the 2-3 zone at the top of the key with his length without a doubt. Producing a lottery pick in Michael Carter-Williams only helps draw top HS guards to SU. The real question is whether this offer means the odds of landing Briscoe has dwindled. Newark’s Briscoe is currently building a strong relationship with Arizona. He’s been viewed by Orange fans as the next piece in a “Point Guard Pipeline” on the Hill following stud PG Tyler Ennis. Here’s what Briscoe told The Fizz at 2011’s Midnight Madness:

 “Every time I get a break I’m up here working out, having fun.”

The picture-perfect scenario would be for Syracuse to reel in BOTH Briscoe and Richardson to build a star-studded, young backcourt. There’s already ’14 PF Chris McCullough incoming along with Ennis. Has Boeheim moved on from Briscoe? Or is there a legit shot at landing both young guns?

Richardson told Inside the Hall, “It’ll probably be either the third or fourth week in August,” for a visit with Indiana. With Syracuse and Indiana slated to face each other at the Dome this coming season in the Big 10/ACC challenge, it provides another stop along the road for Richardson to check in with the programs. We’ll wait and see, as Syracuse has its sights on a pair of highly sought 2015 stars in the making.

Posted: Brendan Glasheen

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