The 2019 class is now five players deep. 6-11 center Jesse Edwards has committed to Syracuse.
Edwards joins guards Joe Girard, Brycen Goodine, forward Quincy Guerrier and fellow big man John Bol Ajak in this incoming class for Syracuse. He’s not ranked on any big recruiting sites but that’s partially because he came on to the scene late. Edwards just moved to the states in December from the Netherlands and joined the IMG Academy post grad team in Florida.
All we have to go off of right now is some highlight reels on YouTube. So, naturally, let’s do just that.
Alright, so obviously he’s going against dudes much smaller than him. But, you can clearly tell his offensive game is refined. Honestly, more polished than you might expect. This isn’t the type of project like a Bourama Sidibe or Paschal Chukwu. He has a more fluid feel to his offense. Edwards is making plays off the dribble, dipping into a couple different spin moves and scoring off the drive. Chukwu and Sidibe probably would’ve looked dominate against this other team in a high school highlight reel too but it’s different. They didn’t and never developed off the dribble skills like Edwards flashes.
Not to say he is going to be a Taurean Thompson type of scorer in terms of extending away from the basket. Essentially all these highlights are inside. The lack of jumper is a little concerning, although there is one baseline J and his form passes the eye test for sure, which gives reason to be optimistic that his shot can develop over time. Plus, Syracuse didn’t recruit him because they needed a shooter. Next years team is going to have plenty of that.
Edwards brings needed Center depth. He is still a question mark in a lot of ways. He doesn’t really change the complexion of next years team. His true ceiling is still unknown, but based on how developed his offensive skill set appears, this could be a very underrated commitment down the road.
This 2019 class doesn’t have that Malachi Richardson or Chris McCullough in terms of ESPN ratings or McDonalds All-American big time name. However, Edwards could be one of many very solid four year players from this class. This class won’t rank that high compared to other teams but three or four years down the road it could look really solid. Think of the 2003 recruiting class with four year players like Mookie Watkins, Demetris Nichols and Terrence Roberts. This class could only get better with time and Edwards could finally give the Orange a center that has some scoring upside when he’s an upperclassmen.