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SU basketball offers 5-star forward in Class of 2020

With SU basketball’s final exhibition game versus Southern Connecticut State being played on Monday, most of the attention surrounding the basketball team has been focused on this year’s edition of the Orange.

With that being said, it’s never too early to look forward to the future of the program. We’ve seen the Orange’s class of 2018 overflow with talent with guys like Darius Bazley and Jalen Carey committing to the Orange. However, it’s possible that the buck won’t stop there for the Orange’s big-time recruits moving forward.

Class of 2020 forward Scottie Barnes announced late last week that SU had offered him a scholarship:

Rated as a five-star recruit by ESPN.com, Barnes is also ranked as the 16th best recruit in his class by the site. 247sports.com has him rated as a four-star prospect, but has him higher in their rankings, placing him at the #10 spot. Obviously, it’s way too early to figure out exactly how Barnes will be rated or ranked when everything is said and done, but he’s toward the top of his class right now for a reason.

Standing at 6-foot-7, 195 pounds, the Cardinal Newman High School (FL) sophomore has excellent length for a kid that will continue to grow as he gets older (he’s only 16 years old right now). With that 6-7 frame comes an even more tantalizing wingspan that extends to 7-foot-1. Keep in mind, NBA superstars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant’s wingspans measure in at 7-foot. That kind of body is mighty intriguing considering how he could fit as a shot blocker or wing defender in the 2-3 zone with those long arms.

Coupled with that captivating body type comes a raw skill set that is also a reason to be excited about a prospect like Barnes. First and foremost, Barnes, like so many young recruits, is an exceptional athlete that can play and finish at and above the rim. While he hasn’t yet developed a great shooting touch, Barnes has shown the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim and create his own shots. Perhaps his most exciting skill, however, is his passing ability. Considering his size and position, Barnes is an exceptionally skilled facilitator that puts his teammates in good positions to score and make plays. While’s he’s currently listed as either a small or power forward, there have been some rumblings that he may be a good enough passer to play point guard. A 6-foot-7 point guard that hasn’t yet stopped growing? Now that’s a fun thought.

With that being said, he sometimes gets a bit turnover-prone with the ball in the open floor and tries to force the issue when he simply doesn’t need to. He also needs to develop his skills on the defensive end because, while he is an incredible vertical athlete, he hasn’t quite developed the lateral quickness to keep up with other skilled wings on the perimeter.

At such a young age, he’s also a proven winner. He was a key member of the United States U16 National Team that went undefeated and claimed its fifth-straight FIBA U16 Americas gold medal earlier this year.

All in all, Barnes is an incredibly intriguing prospect. His length, height, athleticism, motor and passing ability make him a bit of an enigma as to what he might be able to turn into. In the end, he’s oozing with potential and ability and you’ll soon be hearing a lot about him as he continues to mature and move up recruiting boards. It won’t be easy for SU to lock Barnes up, however. The Florida native has also picked up offers from the likes of Florida, Oregon, Kansas and UCLA early in his recruitment process.

You can watch Barnes’s mixtape here.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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