Syracuse Silver Linings: Jerami Grant Declares but Franklin Howard Commits

Syracuse adds to the class of 2015, but will have unproven talent on the floor next season.

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On the same day Jerami Grant decided to forgo his junior season at Syracuse for the NBA draft, Franklin Howard announced his pledge to the Orange. Howard joins Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon in the 2015 class.

But let’s start with the bad news.

Grant’s decision is not so much surprising as it is disheartening for Orange fans, knowing what his absence will mean for next year’s squad. Grant was one of the three major threats for the Orange last season. With Fair graduating and Ennis already declared for the draft, Syracuse will look to new faces to lead the team.

Although it does not look pretty on paper, a positive for the Orange is the amount of raw talent on the roster. Trevor Cooney did not have a great finish to the season but did show flashes of what he can do early on. He also attacked the rim far more than in his previous season, which could give him some more space to work with on the perimeter. Michael Gbinije is the player to look for to take the next step. The swingman showed his ability to control the top of the key, hit shots from behind the arc, and drive to the hoop. 5-star recruit Chris McCullough and Kaleb Joseph, who is ranked as the ninth-best point guard in the 2015 class according to ESPN, will also join the team next year.

The issue for the Orange is how unproven the talent is. Jim Boeheim admitted at the end of the regular season how Tyler Roberson could not help the team despite flashes of good play. Roberson, along with Ron Patterson and B.J. Johnson, will all see a major increase in minutes to prove their worth.

However, the silver lining to the day was Franklin Howard’s commitment to the Orange. When asked on CSN what he was looking for in a school, Howard responded:

“Basically just a family environment. I want to feel love around the campus life and around the basketball program. A very strong fan base and somewhere I want to be for four years.”

Howard has the physical attributes of a player who can take over a game. The 6’5”, 185-pound D.C. native is a combo guard who is officially listed as a shooting guard. Adrian Autry, an assistant on Boeheim’s staff, was crucial to Howard’s recruitment. Autry was an assistant on both Howard’s high school team and AAU squad. The ACC factor also does not hurt as Howard grew up watching ACC teams.

Referring to Boeheim, Howard went on to say:

“[Boeheim] is such a historic coach. It doesn’t get any better than Boeheim. He is a top-5 coach of all-time. They have a great guard development at Syracuse so I would fit in very well there.”

If there is any positive of Syracuse players leaving leave for the draft, it is that recruiting has sure benefited.

A 4-star recruit, Howard will add a lot of talent to a 2015 class that is looking to add even more.

Posted by: Zephan Mayell

15 Comments on this Post

  1. orangeinva

    Last year, CUSE had that Canadian tour and that gave everyone a chance to get a feel for each other’s game…especially Ennis.

    Now we have alot of fresh faces..little experience and no practices before midnight madness.

    Guys like Joseph, McCullough, Roberson, Patterson, Obokoh and BJ are going to have to come in ready to contribute 15 minutes a game or more. The result could be some early season losses and a team out of the top 20…but also a team more equipped to make tournament runs because it is deeper than this past season.

    Hey Terry!!!!!!!!!!!!
    3 b-ball recruits for 2015 and, wait this can’t be right, ZERO football verbals…what goes on here?

  2. @orangeinva;

    Your comparing apple to oranges when asking Terry about the recruits for both sports. It’s early for the football recruits to commit to anyo ne let alone Syracuse.

    Franklin had an impressive list of schools that were interested in him. He picked SU from a final list that included Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia, N.C. State and Ohio State.

    The real question should have been,with Virinia winning the regular ACC regular season and becoming ACC Champions. Coming from the Washington DC area,how come he didn’t pick Virginia,Maryland or Georgetown? My thought’s on Franklin were,we didn’t have a shot of landing him,I thought he would have picked either Virginia or Georgetown to play at. The one trump card that Syracuse has over other schools is the players get to play in front of crowds of 25-35K,that no one else can mateh. The college basketball experience at Syracuse is better than the pro’s.

    As for asking Terry about the football recruits,well give it time we have until February 2015 to fill the class. You just need/learn to be patient.

    Syracuse has offers out to recruits in both sports for the class of 2016 and no one has committed to the orange yet for either sport.

  3. orangeinva

    I was busting Terry’s chops about the recruiting as he is always looking for news on Cuse football.

    BUT… let me take issue with 2 points you raise….

    “it’s early for the football recruits to commit to anyone…”
    Today 60 recruits have “verbaled” to ACC schools for 2015 football.

    “You just need/learn to be patient.”

    That could be true but with CUSE having the 3rd worse recruiting class in the ACC last year, don’t you think some urgency
    might be in order? I mean right now we’re last of 14.

    Just sayin’….

  4. Dr. bill

    i know this is a basketball article….but, what’s up with our football program? According to Scout: Football Commitments for 2014…
    Cuse has ZERO…….

    Rk. School Commits Conf. Points
    1 Penn State 12 Big Ten 1831
    2 Texas A&M 9 SEC 1684
    3 Alabama 10 SEC 1646
    4 LSU 9 SEC 1368
    5 Clemson 11 ACC 1152
    6 Texas 9 Big 12 1129
    7 Tennessee 10 SEC 1051
    8 Florida State 9 ACC 1034
    9 West Virginia 10 Big 12 1020
    10 Arkansas 7 SEC 989
    NR Syracuse 0 ACC 0
    Complete Team Rankings >>

  5. Dr. bill

    Syracuse is the same City..has the Same Weather, for Basketball, that it has for Football season. The difference is that Recruits see Cuse as a basketball dream school, a Big Time they are proud to sign up for. Football recruits do not feel the same way about our football program. When we offer, they say thanks, but no thanks..while they wait for some “Big Time ” program to offer.

    I think our recruiting is getting better and I am hopeful this staff can turn our fortunes around….but it’s hard watching other schools get early commits and we seem to struggle in that area.

  6. Ron Terry

    When I was young, recruits used to walk 500 miles to Syracuse just to see the campus and stop by the five and dime. Now they take airplanes…softies.

  7. @orangeinva;

    I’m glad you responded and let me know that you were toying with Terry.

    About the recruits committing early to the ACC schools. Look when a big time recruit commits to a school a week or even a day after NLO signing day,it means one thing to me. How much money transfered from a boosters hand to the players hand. People need to understand that it happens all the time at the big time schools The NCAA won’t investigate or give a school that cheats the “DEATH PENALTY” because of the damage they caused SMU back in the early 80’s.

    Syracuse has a lot of deep pocketed alumni that won’t go the extra mile to bring in the big time recruits. It’s never happened. Hell if you remember,Syracuse was put on probation because one of the boosters invited the basketball team to his resturant and gave them a free meal.

    I believe that Shafer is the man to run the ship and I hope is doing everything the right way. I also believe that things are headed in the right direction for recruiting. We need to be patient,let Shafer and staff do their thing and just because we don’t bring in 2/3 5* recruits and 10 4* recruits each year,stop the complaining and the “LETS GET RID OF THE COACHING STAFF” BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE A TEAM THAT WENT UNDEFEATED.

    I honestly believe Syracuse is knocking on the door that will elevate the program to the next level.

  8. Often when an uncommitted recruit commits on signing day it means that he is waiting to see what another recruit does before selecting his school.

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  1. By Guy Hayenga on July 19, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Guy Hayenga…

    Syracuse Silver Linings: Jerami Grant Declares but Franklin Howard Commits : Orange Fizz…

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