In the wake of Syracuse’s dominant season-opening win against Colgate and leading up to a massive showdown against 19th-ranked Louisville, football is at the forefront of Orange Nation’s collective mind. But SU still does, in fact, have a basketball team — and a pretty good one, at that. Jim Boeheim’s roster for the upcoming season is stacked with top-tier talent and high-upside depth, and the head honcho is pursuing 2017 recruits who would ensure that the Orange won’t drop off in the near future.
One of those targets is Brandon Randolph, a shooting guard who hails from Yonkers, NY and plays high school basketball in Westtown, PA. Randolph will take an official visit to Syracuse this weekend, according to Pat Lawless of MADEHoops; it’s his first official trip to a school’s campus. In July, the four-star recruit released his top 12 potential destinations, and SU made the cut. Randolph’s dozen also included Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, and North Carolina.
At 6-foot-6, Randolph is big for his position, and he could slide to the wing in the Orange’s 2-3 zone. He checks in at no. 40 in the 2017 rankings of both ESPN and 247sports, and impressed against the nation’s top high school players during the Nike Elite Youth Basketball season — Randolph scored 16.5 points per game and knocked down over 40 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (on more than two attempts per contest). He’s a crafty sniper who utilizes a wide array of moves to find high-percentage jumpers, and his length should allow him to develop into a solid defender, as well.
Randolph needs to add strength (he checks in at only 180 pounds) and improve as a playmaker (he handed out only 11 assists in 15 EYBL games) to avoid stagnating as a one-dimensional player on offense. A knock-down shooter with his defensive potential would be a very valuable piece for any team in the country, but Randolph has the physical tools to become much more well-rounded.
The Orange hasn’t locked down a commitment from the Class of 2017 yet, but Boeheim and company have put together a tremendous list of targets. Small forward Jordan Tucker remains the most likely to sign, while Lonnie Walker and Quade Green, two five-star guards, recently expressed interest in SU (Green and Randolph are teammates on the PSA Cardinals, a New York-based AAU team). Trevon Duval, the consensus no. 1 point guard in the class, and Nick Richards, a top-five center, highlight the other names on Syracuse’s radar.