On Saturday night, when Quade Green announces where he’ll play college basketball, Syracuse may feel like a jaded lover. SU has been pursuing the five-star point guard for at least two years, and his commitment to the Orange felt like a done deal as recently as last week. But the latest rumblings say Green could be leaning toward Kentucky — and he may have already signed with the Wildcats.
Carl Arrigale, Green’s coach at Neumann-Goretti (PA) High School, hinted on Wednesday that Green has inked his national letter of intent, which would lock him in with the school he picks.
“I don’t think he was sure — even a couple of days ago — if he was going to sign early,” Arrigale told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Now, I think he’s going to sign the letter. I think he’s got some clarity. He has a final five list, but it’s only between two teams. It’s Kentucky and Syracuse.”
The recruiting community has known for a while that Green has settled on a final two, and the Philly native confirmed it himself by retweeting a post that said he’ll choose between SU and UK.
That being said, Green hasn’t officially trimmed his list to two (his top five includes Duke, Villanova, and Temple). Most prognosticators believed it was a two-horse race in the recruitment of Lonnie Walker, another top-25 2017 guard, between Syracuse and Villanova — but the five-star recruit ended up committing to Miami (FL) this week. Green’s high school coach, though, seems like a pretty good source for information regarding the teenager’s decision.
247Sports’ Crystal Ball — a composite of recruiting experts’ predictions for a player’s commitment — gives UK a 52 percent chance of landing Green, with Syracuse at 39 percent.
If Green does ultimately opt to take his talents to Lexington, the Orange will find itself in a very tough spot. SU has locked down only one commitment from the Class of 2017 (three-star forward OShae Brissett), and its chance at elite talents such as Hamidou Diallo, the top shooting guard in 247Sports’ class rankings, may depend on a signature from Green. Diallo, and perhaps other blue-chippers, could follow Green to Central New York — or could scratch Syracuse off their lists if he chooses a different school.
Jim Boeheim and company haven’t necessarily put all their eggs in the Quade basket, but the SU coaching staff — especially Gerry McNamara — have reportedly spent a large chunk of their time on the recruiting trail chasing Green.
“I’m their only priority right now,” Green said this week. “That’s what they tell me. One thing about Syracuse that stands out is they want me to be the man on campus. And the fan base is crazy; the alumni are crazy.”
It will certainly sting if Green spurns Syracuse, especially if he does it just one week after sitting in the Carrier Dome to watch the Orange stomp Colgate in its season opener. It sounds like it’s Jim Boeheim vs. John Calipari in the race for Green’s signature; we’ll know the winner tonight.
Cross your fingers, Orange Nation.