For the first time since 2013, the Orange’s entire recruiting class is not a part of the ESPN Top 100. In fact, none of SU’s incoming members are in the top 100 for the first time since ESPN started ranking recruits in 2007. It’s getting late in the process and the Orange still has its eyes on a pair of top 100 guys in Jordan Tucker and Tremont Waters. However, these are also two of the most sought after recruits that are being wooed by the likes of Duke and Kansas, so it’s no lock that Syracuse can bring either one of these guys in. While this might cause some concern for the current class of 2017, this is a real wild card class that could end up paying huge dividends down the road with a lot of under the radar guys.
The first thing to look at is the fact that Syracuse must recruit differently because of its system. The 2-3 zone requires a certain type of player: long and athletic. That means that the best player in a given class may not be the best player for the Orange. This year’s class fits the mold of a Syracuse team.
Oshae Brissett was recently named the Canadian Player of the Year and has really bloomed as a player as of late. He just had a game where he recorded 29 rebounds. One of the major reasons for Brissett being an unknown is that he played for a major basketball powerhouse in the United States at Findlay Prep, which has produced NBA talent like Avery Bradley, Tristan Thompson and Kelly Oubre Jr. Because of that, he often played out of position. But since Brissett has played in Canada, he’s played in more of his natural role as a wing, and should do much of the same with the Orange.
As for Sidibe and Washington, they are both questions marks of sorts, but offer plenty of potential. They fit into what Jim Boeheim’s system nicely. Washington is a point guard that can patrol the offense without making mistakes. Meanwhile Sidibe is an anchor down low. He has a long wingspan and is very mobile, which can help to make up for the loss of Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson’s defense down low, as well as alleviate the eyesore that is Taurean Thompson’s defense. He isn’t some polished offensive post scorer, but he doesn’t have to be. Think of Sidibe as a poor man’s Fab Melo, which would be a piece that would suit the Orange well down the road.
While there’s still hope that the Orange can dip its toe into the top 100 pool, it’s no guarantee. However, it’s not the end of the world if Syracuse can’t land either Tucker or Waters. These players would solve more short term issues, however, the current class gives more promise towards a long term plan.