On Monday, the Carrier Dome waved goodbye to its present and may have waved hello to its future. Before the final home game of the season, Syracuse honored its seniors with a nice ceremony before being buried beneath an avalanche named Kyle Guy against Virginia, and did it in front of a four-star recruit who might see the Orange as the frontrunner for his services in a couple of years.
Noah Collier took an unofficial visit to campus to watch SU battle UVA in person. He went to the game with his high school teammate John Bol Ajak, one of four recruits on the way to Syracuse next year in the program’s deepest class in recent memory. And while the Class of 2019 is locked and loaded with Ajak, Brycen Goodine, Quincy Guerrier, and Joe Girard, Jim Boeheim and company are hunting their first 2020 commitment.
That’s totally normal. Only five of the 60 players — and no one ranked higher than 40th — on ESPN’s board for 2020 have settled on a school, and only one school has secured multiple commitments. (If you guessed Nebraska, congratulations! Go win a bar bet with that one.)
Collier is a good place for SU to start in 2020. He snagged the last spot in that ESPN Top-60 and is a consensus four-star swingman who plays for one of the most competitive programs in the nation. Westtown fancies itself as the super-program of the Philly area, and recent gems do nothing to dispel that label: Mo Bamba (top-six draft pick), Cam Reddish (likely top-six draft pick), and Brandon Randolph (top-50 recruit and Syracuse target who chose Arizona) shared a lineup that Sports Illustrated dubbed “perhaps the greatest starting five in HS basketball history.”
Flip on Collier’s tape, and one thing jumps out: the dude can fly.
Collier is stringy, bouncy, and fluid. He participated in the 2017 Team USA U16 Training Camp, where a reporter asked the New Jersey native to describe his game. The first thing Collier said should perk your ears up if you’re a Syracuse fan.
“I’m versatile, so I can play a small forward, power forward position.”
Perfect — he’s a wing! Collier’s body and athleticism make him a theoretical prototype on the boundary of Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. This isn’t a square peg in a round hole; this is a lengthy peg in a lengthy hole.
“I like to get after it,” Collier continued. “I’m competitive, aggressive. Rebound, block shots, finish around the basket. [I’m] extending my range right now.”
That last part might determine Collier’s future, in terms of his success in college and shot at the NBA. His jumper is a bit of a mystery (there isn’t a ton of Collier video available at the moment), but we know he possesses the tools to be a weapon in the zone and on the break.
Collier currently holds nine offers, according to 247sports. Syracuse is the only school for which his interest is listed as “warm,” which may be a byproduct of his recent visit. SU is also the only Power Five school outside the Big Ten (Maryland, Penn State) to extend Collier an offer at this point — although Villanova should probably count, too.
One last thing you should know about Collier: he’s got a five-star Twitter handle. Find him @ezbreezyjnc. The “jnc” presumably stands for “Jason Noah Collier,” his full name. The Fizz approves.
So, to recap: Collier is a springy four-star wing, his teammate is coming to Syracuse next season, he just visited for one of the biggest games of the season, he’s from the northeast, and he could slide into a defensive position that would suit his strengths like Funk ‘n Waffles suited Guy Fieri. It’s still early, but Collier and the ‘Cuse could be a match made in the Carrier Dome.