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Thomas Bryant Watch: Don’t Buy Into Kentucky and Kansas’ Late Pitches on the 5-Star Phenom

Two power programs have entered the Thomas Bryant sweepstakes

Just when we thought he was down to three schools and close to a decision, prized, Syracuse basketball recruit, center Thomas Bryant, has opened the door for two of college basketball’s national powerhouses to slide into the discussion.

The five-star Huntington Prep product Bryant dropped 33 points and muscled down 14 rebounds in front of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, Saturday. Coach Cal and the Wildcats offered Bryant in late November. The offer really spoke volumes considering Calipari made it out to Paducah, KY and was spotted with his assistant, Kenny Payne, scouting the big man.

It’s not just Kentucky, though.

Via SNY.tv’s Chip Miller’s report, SNY confirmed through two sources Kansas is trying to get in on the Bryant sweepstakes as well.

So, the interest includes Syracuse, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and now  possibly the Jayhawks

Miller was at the McCracken County Mustang Madness to find out just how much Bryant appreciates playing in the Bluegrass State.

“I just love the basketball atmosphere,” Bryant said. “Everyone loves the game of basketball here in Kentucky. With the Kentucky Wildcats, they come out to support them and when they hear good high school players are coming, they come out to see them and show their support.”

What’s there to make of Bryant’s personal relationship with Cal? Well, he has handle on the basics:

“It’s how they have everybody there that is a first round draft pick,” Bryant said. “Everybody there is a McDonald’s All-American. He brings the best out of everybody there that’s playing for him and will play for him.”

Instant reaction from Orange fans: we’re screwed. But, not so fast. Yes, Kentucky and Kansas just getting involved spices this whole thing up, no question. Remember Byrant’s mother, Linda, has a huge say in his landing spot. Her most recent words to Syracuse.com (late November):

“Really it’s down to two,” Linda Bryant said. “Syracuse and Indiana. And it might be down to one soon. Thomas has always told me that Syracuse was the leader.”

Bryant reminded SNY the decision is ultimately his. As they always say, however, mother knows best, right?

With more fuel added to this fire, SU fans might let their attention shift to Bryant and slip away from college football’s National Signing Day on February 4th. Presuming a scholarship offer frees up, those who root for Syracuse hoops fully expect Bryant to rep Orange and tie the necessary bow on the 2015 recruiting class Jim Boeheim has called the program’s “best ever.”

Bryant likes Boeheim and Tom Crean’s Hoosiers a lot. Based on his loyalty to let this process ride out for as long as it has, it’s hard to believe a program like Kentucky or Kansas can simply sneak right in and snatch Bryant. He cares too much about a strong, personal relationship.

Calipari and Self have tons of work to do to even come close to matching the work Boeheim and Crean put in so far with Bryant. Don’t buy it. Bryant to SU is still very realistic.

Posted:  Brendan Glasheen

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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