In a class that currently features zero ESPN top 100 recruits, the Orange still has a chance to make a splash. Syracuse is still trying to bring either point guard Tremont Waters (the #33 prospect in ESPN’s rankings) or forward Jordan Tucker (ESPN’s #40 recruit), who just took a visit to the school this past weekend. Both players bring much needed talent to the table and could completely change the trajectory of next season, however, it is unlikely SU lands both. Despite the Orange filling just eight of its 11 scholarships for next season, Waters and Tucker are both highly touted guys who are being pursued by many similar schools.
While Waters is one of the most talented point guards left on the market, Syracuse would be wise to put all of its eggs into Jordan Tucker’s basket. It boils down to what the Orange is who is and isn’t coming back not just from last season, but also in the coming years.
SU seems pretty locked in with its point guards for the next four years. Like him or not, Frank Howard showed some strides towards the end of the year, but never seemed to feel comfortable with Boeheim’s intimidating storm cloud hanging over his head at all times. Along with Howard, the Orange has Howard Washington in the Class of 2017. It would be strange to see Syracuse commit to two point guards for an extended period of time, meanwhile, the team already has one on the roster.
Along with those points, Waters does not fit the traditional mold of a Boeheim point guard. He’s undersized and lacks the length necessary to be a force at the top of the zone. We saw this last year how John Gillon had his inconsistencies on defense, but Waters doesn’t have the same type of speed as Gillon to make up for it.
As for Tucker, he fills an immediate hole. Andrew White’s absence is one that Orange fans are going to feel when the team struggles to score. White was one of the few players on the team that could create his own shot, even from three, which is one of Tucker’s strengths. The Georgia product is also a knockdown shooter from deep, which will be key for a team that is losing its top three shooters from behind the arc next season. The fit makes sense from Tucker’s side as well because one of his knocks is his ability to match up on defense and guard an explosive wing, however, that won’t be a problem with 2-3 zone. His length will make up for what he lacks in quickness.
For this late in the process, the Orange has some phenomenal options. But for the long term success of the team, Tucker is the much more sensical recruit for Syracuse.