Syracuse basketball’s 2017 recruiting class has been thin from the start. The Orange still doesn’t have a Top 100 commitment, and as the time starts to run out in the cycle Orange Nation is uneasy. There is still some good news: the players Syracuse does have signed on for the 2017-18 season are dominating at the high school level. Last week, Oshae Brissett was named the best high school player in Canada, and Friday Bourama Sidibe went to work at the Jordan Brand Classic.
The Jordan Brand Classic is one of the most prestigious high school All-Star Games in the country. Since its inception in 2002, at least one of the game’s MVPs every year has gone on to play in the NBA. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving have all played in the game, and more recently Malik Monk, DeAaron Fox and Cheick Diallo. Sidibe didn’t make either of the national team rosters, but did his best to prove whoever made that decision wrong with a double-double in the regional game. He scored 18 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Not to downplay a double-double, but Sidibe’s performance should be taken with a grain of salt. The 18 points he scored wasn’t very impressive given the setting. Every player on his team scored in double-digits, and eight other players scored more than him. The final score of the game was 170-162 (Sidibe’s team lost), so there’s no case to be made for quality defense. His 12 boards was the only double-digit rebounding performance of the day, but its not like an All-Star games are known for their tenacious rebounding and boxing out.
Bourama Sidibe will come to Syracuse in the fall with an expectation to contribute right away. Tyler Lydon is gone to the NBA, so the Orange will have to rely on Sidibe, Taurean Thompson (who played in last year’s Jordan Classic Regional) and Paschal Chukwu to defend the middle of the 2-3 zone. Sidibe looked like someone who could fill the shoes Lydon left behind on Friday with his ability to rebound and score, but the game he played in yesterday is not a February ACC game.
Side Note: Syracuse target Jordan played against Sidibe in the regional game. He scored the least of anyone who took a shot in the game, tallying five points on 22 percent shooting.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson