When they peruse recruiting leaderboards, Syracuse fans likely aren’t accustomed to clicking “see more” to find their team. That’s the case, however, for the Class of 2017, from which the Orange has locked down a whopping two recruits. While OShae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe are promising talents, they’re the lone members of a group currently ranked 59th in the nation by 247sports.com.
Time is running out for the Orange to assemble an impressive class (if the clock hasn’t already struck midnight) — 90 of the 100 players in ESPN’s 2017 rankings have already committed, and none chose SU. The biggest waves the team has made during this year’s recruiting cycle came when its top target, Quade Green, took his talents somewhere else, leaving Jim Boeheim and company in a perilous position after devoting a boatload of time and resources to the Philadelphia product. Syracuse also reportedly ended its pursuit of other players, including consensus top-10 point guard Matt Coleman, in anticipation of landing Green, so the cabinet is truly bare at the moment.
That could change soon. The Orange is chasing several targets — including the top-ranked uncommitted player, Mohamed Bomba — but the most likely to commit may be Chris Duarte.
Good question. When you google his name, the first guy who comes up is a 53-year-old guitarist from Texas. Most people haven’t heard of Duarte, the basketball player, whose profile on 247sports doesn’t even feature a picture. That profile also claims that he’s a shooting guard, while ESPN expects him to run the point and Scout pegs him as a small forward.
The sites do agree on one thing, though: Duarte is a three-star recruit. He lives in Troy, N.Y — about 15 minutes north of Albany — so there’s a good chance that he bleeds Orange (Duarte is originally from the Dominican Republic). His versatile bag of tools features strong passing skills and a silky perimeter jumper, and at 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, he projects as a lanky floor general in the mold of Michael Carter-Williams.
That’s obviously a best-case scenario, though — if he truly were MCW 2.0, we would know his name by now. Duarte checks in at No. 161 (No. 35 SG) in 247sports’ class rankings, while ESPN, whose overall rankings include only 100 players, slots him at No. 58 among point guards.
Duarte reportedly visited Syracuse over the weekend, per Scout.com, and the site reports that he’s “very interested” in the Orange. Boeheim’s staff should pursue him earnestly — not only because he’s a precocious talent, but because they need to rescue a subpar recruiting class.