Syracuse basketball isn’t playing in this season’s NCAA Tournament, but good news did come to the Orange on this first day of the round of 64. Thursday, 2017 point guard Howard Washington committed to Syracuse to give the Orange its third commit of the class.
Washington didn’t choose a college the regular way. He was originally a 2016 recruit and committed to Butler (Syracuse hadn’t offered him at the time). In fact, he left Monteverde Academy — one of the best high school teams in the nation, Howard played with Ben Simmons — in February of his senior year to join the Bulldogs early. But two months later, Butler and Washington mutually parted ways, allowing Washington to move to another school without restriction for decommitting after signing a letter of intent.
Washington chose to take a post-graduate year and reclassify to the 2017 class. He plays at the Athlete Institute Basketball Academy in Canada, whose coach Tony McIntyre is former Syracuse standout Tyler Ennis’ father. One of his teammates is Syracuse commit Oshae Brissett. He’s certainly had a lot of Orange influence around him, but Washington has said Syracuse is his dream school even before SU offered him.
Washington isn’t the most highly touted recruit to come to Syracuse. 24/7’s composite rankings list him at only three stars, and is the No. 2 recruit out of New York in the 2017 class. His offer sheet looks better than his rating, thought. Washington had offers from Villanova, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and more before committing to Syracuse. He made and unofficial visit to Syracuse in February, and finally got a scholarship offer from his dream school Saturday. It took him five days to make the decision.
More than anything, Washington fills a big hole in Syracuse’s 2017-18 rotation. With John Gillon and Andrew White on the way out and Frank Howard constantly moving in and out of Jim Boeheim’s doghouse, the Orange needed a point guard. That point guard was supposed to be Quade Green, but after Kentucky took him away from SU the Orange started to look at other options.
Washington joins Brissett and Bourama Sidibe in Syracuse’s 2017 recruiting class, which sits at a dismal No. 55 in the country and No. 9 in the ACC.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson