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Who is the Best Player in the 2019 Syracuse Basketball Class?

There has been a lot of talk about this incoming 2019 basketball class for Syracuse. Some view the class as a potential program changer, while others argue the numbers suggest it’s merely just another class.

Purely based on rankings there is no clear star in this group. The class has just one ESPN100 commit, Brycen Goodine, and no McDonald’s All-Americans. It’s only the second time in recent memory SU has not landed a recruit inside the top 50 on the ESPN100, the other year being 2017 (largely because of recruiting violations).

Instead of a “one-and-done” type of talent, Syracuse is bringing in a class with lots of guys that are around the same skill level. Brycen Goodine, Quincy Guerrier, Jesse Edwards and Joe Girard are all ranked between 90 and 180 in their class, according to 247sports.com.

The fact that Goodine only garnered 14% of the vote above speaks to the polarizing nature of this class. Objectively, just based on ratings, he is the clear “best player.” Every recruiting site under the sun has him as the highest rated guy in this class for Syracuse and frankly by a solid margin. ESPN has him at #75 (with no one else ranked inside the top 100). Based on that, Goodine is the most polished. He comes in with the fewest question marks and best stats against high level competition (19.6 PPG in EYBL circuit last year).

However, Fizz Nation is right. He’s not the best player. The top vote getter above Quincy Guerrier isn’t either. The best player in this class is Joe Girard.

It may not happen in his first year on campus. Honestly, there will probably be a strong deal of adversity for him early on. The hype is unhealthy for an 18 year old kid that does have to deal with a huge talent gap. Just think how long it took Buddy Boeheim to translate his shot from practice to the college pressure. But, Girard is a competitor that has risen to every high pressure challenge so far.

We all know about his long line of accomplishments to date. Just a couple weeks ago, he added another to the list by winning MVP honors at the Capitol Classic. Against solid, high level D1 commits, he scored 17 points in 21 minutes. The Class B, inferior competition excuse doesn’t apply there.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean Guerrier and Goodine won’t be impactful players and live up to their billing. In year one, honestly they will both likely be better than Girard. Guerrier, especially, has some real NBA potential down the road and is a gem in this class. But, Girard is the best four-year player in this group.

The Class B thing is true. The numbers are also true though. He can shoot and he can score. That can’t be overvalued. It’s going to take time. He is going to struggle initially. But, when we get to look back on this class in four years, Girard will go down as the best player.

 

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