With Oshae Brissett’s decision to head to leave school and keep his name in the NBA Draft, Syracuse all of a sudden has a scholarship available for the next few years that it didn’t look like they’d have the opportunity to fill.
The 2019 class is essentially set in stone at this point and with five talented signees in that cycle, this extra scholarship will almost certainly go somewhere in the 2020 class. Albany native Andre Jackson has made some noise in terms of being a key piece in the Orange’s 2020 cycle, but there hasn’t really been a clear second or third potential member that SU has a really good shot at. That could all change on Tuesday.
Consensus four-star power forward Woody Newton appears to be preparing to make his collegiate decision early this week.
— Woody Newton (@WNewton_23) May 2, 2019
Newton currently checks in as the No. 79 recruit in the country and the nation’s 15th best power forward according to 247Sports while he’s a few spots higher at 73rd and 12th according to Rivals. Simply put, this kid is a very talented player that would be a huge addition to the program.
After a 2019 class that saw Syracuse snag just one Top 100 recruit in Brycen Goodine, SU now has a pretty good chance at adding a pair of top 80 players in 2020 because, similarly to Jackson, both 247Sports’ Crystal Ball and Rivals’ FutureCast have the chances of Newton heading to Central New York at 100%.
So, if Newton does go with what experts have predicted thus far, what would the Orange be getting in the Washington, D.C. native who currently plays his high school ball in Lanham, MD at Mt. Zion Prep?
Well, for starters, they’ll get a guy that can really stretch the floor. Newton’s got a smooth jumper that he’s shown the ability to knock down consistently from outside whether that be behind the arc or off the dribble in the midrange.
Speaking of the dribble, from the looks of some tape, it appears that Newton has done quite a bit of work with private coach Koran Godwin on his handle and it shows in the limited highlights that are out there for the four-star, which would be a nice addition to his offensive game as a future frontcourt member.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in what potential recruits can bring to a program offensively and forget that there is a defensive side of the ball that needs to be just as good, if not better, to have a successful career and luckily for Newton, he has defensive ability in droves.
At 6-foot-8, 190 pounds, Newton is long and athletic and has the ability to guard multiple positions. When matched up with a smaller and quicker guard, Newton can use is length to stay in front and if he gets paired with a big, his athleticism and quickness make him a dangerous defender.
Obviously playing D in the 2-3 zone is a completely different animal and it doesn’t operate on quite the same principles as your prototypical matchup man-to-man, so there will be a learning curve for any incoming freshman. That length and athleticism, however, could easily translate to the zone and make him an impact defender, a skill that he himself has admitted is the best part of his game.
Top 100 prospects have been a bit tougher to come by for Syracuse in the last couple of years than it has been in the past, but after picking up Brycen Goodine in 2019, it looks like SU has a pretty good chance at grabbing a pair of really talented four-stars in 2020.
The Orange can get the cycle off to a good start on Tuesday with Newton, but will have to compete with the likes of Maryland, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Xavier. All eyes will be locked in on his Twitter, @WNetwon_23, throughout the day and you can also follow along with us on Twitter @OrangeFizz for all the coverage.