While the 2018 recruiting cycle for the SU basketball team is still very much in play on a number of different fronts, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the Class of 2019. While only a few offers have been extended, the Orange already has a commitment from one of the class’s top guards.
Three-star guard Brycen Goodine officially became the first member of Syracuse’s 2019 recruiting class on Wednesday night. The commitment came after Jim Boeheim and Gerry McNamara visited the Massachusetts native at his school, St. Andrew’s (RI), earlier in the day. The junior was so impressed with the recruiting pitch that he called Boeheim to confirm his commitment before the coaches could even get on the plane. He then announced his decision on Twitter later in the evening:
After looking at many different colleges and their basketball programs, i have decided to attend Syracuse University in the fall of 2019🍊 pic.twitter.com/rGQvjclSGi
— Brycen Goodine (@BrycenGoodine) September 14, 2017
While we’ve already detailed SU’s initial interest in Goodine and his ties to the SU program let’s take a quick look at exactly what Goodine can bring to the Orange:
Size in the 2-3 Zone
One of the biggest problems SU had last system was that the personnel it was utilizing at the top of that vaunted 2-3 zone was simply too small. For the zone to be effective, the guards applying pressure to ball handlers at the top of the zone must have good size. Last season starting point guard John Gillon (6’0”) just wasn’t big enough to make the zone effective. The ability to get hands into passing lanes and close out on good 3-point shooters is crucial to the zone’s success and, unlike Gillon, Goodine has that size and length. Standing at 6’4”, Goodine is a much better fit to play at the top of the zone and his frame may be a really effective tool for SU when he arrives on campus in two years.
With the way the game of basketball is trending, there are two qualities that can make a player special: long-range shooting and unparalleled athleticism. While Goodine isn’t yet known for touch from the outside, that’s something that can be taught. What can’t be learned, however, is the incredible athletic ability that he already possesses at such a young age. Just take a look for yourself:
With that bounce comes the ability to finish at and above the rim, a talent that will have SU fans salivating for however long Goodine is on the Hill.
Growing up in New Bedford, Mass., Goodine certainly wasn’t raised in a basketball hotbed that you might see in places like Chicago or New York City. What Goodine lacks in geographical upbringing, he makes up for in parental ties. Goodine’s father, Jonathan DePina, played basketball at UMass from 1997-2001, so you know that basketball is in his blood. If Goodine takes after his dad like somebody like Andy Rautins did after his, then the Orange could have a very special player on its hands.
The Class of 2018 is already frighteningly good for SU basketball and if the Orange keeps churning out commitments like that of Goodine’s for the Class of 2019, then Syracuse may just have a recipe for success on its hands.