It is no secret that as of this moment Syracuse basketball’s Class of 2017 is weaker than Orange fans are used to. Missing out on Qaude Green seems to have set the Orange back in their quest to put together a solid recruiting class that can bring the program back to where it belongs. One of the ways to get this done would be to convince four-star guard Eric Ayala to reclassify for 2017 and come to the Hill. However, in an article on Syracuse.com, Ayala explained that he is in no rush to make a decision on where, and when, he will be playing college basketball.
Ayala said that he watches everything and he is well aware that Syracuse has missed the NCAA tournament two of the last three seasons. Jim Boeheim has continually brushed aside rumblings that he and the program is on a downward trajectory. However, comments from someone on the outside looking in, like Ayala should be a wake-up call to the long-tenured head coach. Ayala said that he looks at everything when evaluating a program.
“It wasn’t a down year but they didn’t make the tournament. Next year, if I come back, I can see how they go from there. Coach Boeheim might leave and I wouldn’t even know, and I’d have to build a relationship with a whole new coach.”
The question marks surrounding the Syracuse program are very real and Ayala sees that. It is very possible that Quade Green and others who elected to go elsewhere saw that as well. Boeheim can stick his head in the sand all he wants but the high school players that he is attempting to convince to come play for his program won’t ignore the recent past. Syracuse was supposed to have a concrete plan for their next head coach. That his now out the window. The Orange are supposed to be a regular in the NCAA Tournament and supposedly had one of the best teams in years. They missed the tournament and had one of their worst seasons in recent memory.
This is not to say that the sky is falling and that Syracuse is destined to continue to fall downwards towards mediocrity. However, there are several things that have gone very wrong with this program in the last three or four years and the first step to overcoming these problems is for the head coach to admit and acknowledge that they exist. Until Boeheim does so, players like Ayala may look upon the Syracuse program less favorably than perhaps is fair or justified.