A pair of elite 2017 guard recruits solidified their interest in Syracuse over the past few days. The Orange has yet to sign a player in the class of 2017, but if Jim Boeheim could land one or both of the backcourt blue-chippers, SU’s outlook for the somewhat-distant future would improve immensely.
Lonnie Walker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Reading, PA, revealed his top five schools this week, and the list includes Syracuse. The other finalists for the guard’s services are all perennial powerhouses: Arizona, Miami, Kentucky, and Villanova.
ESPN pegs Walker as the 19th-best player and fourth-best shooting guard in his class. His game is heavily predicated on athleticism — Walker is lethal in transition, and when his team is forced to operate a halfcourt offense, he strikes fear into opponents when he slashes to the rack. The five-star dynamo finishes with authority, as evidenced by the video he tweeted to announce the final five schools in the running for his signature.
The Orange’s pursuit of Walker began when the team offered him a scholarship in April, so the length of his recruiting process pales in comparison to that of Quade Green, another eastern Pennsylvania product. The 6-foot-1 point guard is visiting Syracuse this weekend, meaning he will be on campus during the Orange’s annual Elite camp. While his high school coach, Carl Arrigale, believes Green could participate in the program, he says the five-star guard’s primary objective is to spend time with SU players and coaches.
Along with Syracuse, Green is considering eight other schools: Kentucky, Kansas, Xavier, Arizona, Duke, Villanova, Louisville, and Temple.
Green, the No. 22 player and third-ranked point guard in ESPN’s class rankings, owns a diverse offensive skillset. Over his high school career, Green has developed from a shoot-first scorer to a well-rounded, pure floor general. During the Nike Elite Youth Basketball regular season, the 6-foot-1 point guard dropped nearly 11 dimes per game — by far the highest total in the league — and finished with a stellar 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. When he’s not focused on setting up his teammates, Green can still pour in buckets, with a silky perimeter jump shot and crafty dribble moves to fool defenders.
Green isn’t overwhelmingly athletic, which could lead to trouble against top-flight college competition, especially on the defensive end. But the Philly native is a fantastic prospect, and if he becomes the first player to commit to Jim Boeheim’s 2017 class, he could certainly attract other recruits who want to play alongside a great facilitator.
Either Walker or Green would provide a foundational piece for the late-2010s Orange, and both appear to be seriously considering SU. It’s OK for Syracuse fans to dream about a 2017 backcourt trio of Walker, Green, and Jordan Tucker.