The Per’fesser could be around beyond next season after all. Jim Boeheim has denied or shaken off every rumor of possibly retiring, and with a top notch recruiting class heading up On the Hill, how could he walk away now?
We’ve discussed here at The Fizz the scary-good potential of Syracuse basketball’s 2015 recruiting class. The Orange has a quartet of ESPN Top-100 prospects committed to the program. As of right now, the list looks like this:
Malachi Richardson (6-foot-6, 190-pound guard) — No. 15.
Moustapha Diagne (6-9, 230-pound forward) — No. 44.
Tyler Lydon (6-8, 185-pound forward) — No. 59.
Franklin Howard (6-6, 180-pound guard) — No. 70.
A fifth member may be on board very soon to what is already the No. 1 class. Boeheim teased the idea of another recruit but he “can’t talk about that,” he said to Syracuse.com’s Bud Polquin at a Boeheim Foundation charity event. Rochester big man Thomas Bryant seems like the viable candidate. The 6’10”, 5-star forward has Syracuse as his top school.
Boeheim is pretty much saying this class is already pretty darn good, and it will be a hell of a lot better with this mystery, additional player. The Orange head man always speaks realistically, positively or negatively. He won’t hold back if it means calling out his players for screwing up, nor will he not give credit when credit is due. His coaching staff under his leadership has done its best recruitment arguably in the last five to seven years. While he may be praising the promising talent heading in, Boeheim also pats his own back for reeling these guys in .
With these words, some forget Syracuse is playing basketball in 2014. Many questions surround this upcoming season with hopeful cornerstones Chris McCullough and Kaleb Joseph joining the mix as immediate-impact players. Hard to not look ahead, but by no means should SU fans consider next year a complete wash. But again, it’s difficult to shade ourselves.
A Calipari-esque starting five is in the works, people. Two guys (if Bryant commits) inside the Top 20 sets the tone for a monster, exciting 2015 campaign. Boeheim loves Richardson. Just about a year ago now, Boeheim and Mike Hopkins attended the Peach Jam AAU tournament to watch Malachi play. As for Bryant, well, he’s been a long-time target. Hopkins has watched Bryant develop for years dating back to Bryant’s high school days at Bishop Kearney HS. In relation to Boeheim’s ticking coaching tenure, the Hopkins-Bryant relationship indicates Hop should stick around to MAYBE coach the stud forward he’s scouted all these years.
Syracuse doesn’t even have enough scholarships left to land Bryant, for now. Assuming a player declares for the draft or a possible transfer, the Orange should make every effort to make space for Bryant. CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello reports Bryant and SU have arranged an official visit.
And of course, just like he mentioned prior to Syracuse-Duke at Cameron Indoor this past February, Boeheim wants to continue coaching for as long as he can. That’s what he said sitting next to Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski on ESPN. How can he not? Hop has the respect of these recruits, too, but Boeheim is the man.
For Boeheim to come out of nowhere and jump ahead a year and a half to praise a recruiting class means Syracuse isn’t far way (in case you thought they weren’t) from being a Top-10 powerhouse once again. The Thomas Bryant watch is officially on in full force. Maybe it already was for most SU fans. Sorry we’re late. Enjoy next year but just remember if all else fails, Jim Boeheim loves the Class of 2015.
Posted by: Brendan Glasheen