The Mary Kline Classic is one of the bigger opportunities for young talent to shine on the basketball court.
Alex Kline, a student at Syracuse University, runs the charity event, which is to honor Mary Kline, who passed away from cancer. The event is an all-star game for some of the nation’s best high school basketball talent.
Several Syracuse players have had the opportunity to take part in the event, and that includes future players as well. Since 2011, players like Tyler Ennis, Tyler Roberson, and Chris McCullough have participated in the event.
Syracuse has the No. 1-ranked recruiting class of 2015, according to 247Sports.com. With Jim Boeheim at the helm and a class full of talent coming in, he has the chance to get his second national championship.
Moustapha Diagne, a native of Senegal, like Baye Moussa Keita, is a 4-star recruit. He committed to the Orange on June 1. Four-star guard Frank Howard is also a member of the class of 2015. Malachi Richardson, a 6’5” guard also played. These three, along with McCullough, took part in the Mary Kline Classic on May 31 in New Jersey.
The event is also an opportunity, from a basketball standpoint, to see how some of these recruits play together. McCullough was on the upperclassmen team, but Diagne, Howard, and Richardson played on the underclassman team. These guys got the opportunity to play with each other for one of what will be, many times in the coming years.
Diagne had offers from other big schools such as Kansas and Florida, but ultimately chose Syracuse over Memphis. He finished with 18 points in the game, and will add to talent from the class of 2015.
Howard has size for a guard, standing at 6’6”. Mike Waters of syracuse.com says Howard is similar to a big guard like Michael Carter-Williams. MCW had a successful sophomore year when he helped lead the Orange to a Final Four appearance. Howard finished with 11 points.
There is a lot of buzz about McCullough. He is one of the top players in the recruiting class from 2014 and will be a huge part of the roster, especially after the loss of C.J. Fair to graduation. The players who play in the Mary Kline Classic are some of the best in the country heading into their collegiate game. Now that Syracuse has lost three of its five starters from the 2013-2014 team, more eyes are on the younger kids coming in because of the role they’ll have to play. The incoming freshmen, McCullough and Kaleb Joseph, will have to eventually help the class of 2015 get accustomed to how Boeheim likes things done.
More experience for these guys playing together helps build chemistry early. That should only lead to success for Boeheim, and may open the door for more coaching opportunities for assistant coach Mike Hopkins.
Posted by: Austin Pollack