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Evaluating Syracuse Basketball’s 2021 Scholarship Offers Part 1

For the past couple years Syracuse Basketball’s recruiting hasn’t been too good, to put it nicely. The Orange have been swinging and missing on big name recruits and then, mostly, having to settle for low-three stars. But with the verbal commitment of five-star Dior Johnson, the tides have changed. His fame and lure has enticed other big recruits to look at SU as a possible home for the next few years. Benny Williams has already committed to the Orange, but here is a breakdown and evaluation of half of the scholarship offers Syracuse currently has out in the class of 2021:

JOHN CAMDEN | SF | 4-STARS

SIZE: 6’7, 195 lbs.

HOME TOWN: Wayne, PA – Archbishop John Carroll High School

OTHER OFFERS: Florida, Indiana, Miami, Penn State, TCU, Temple, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Xavier, Memphis

EVALUATION: Camden is the prototypical Syracuse player. He’s a long, rangy forward that would be perfect on the wing of the two-three zone. If you wanted to go big and move him to the top of the zone, his length would be even more advantageous. Camden is listed as a small forward, but he plays like a guard. He averaged 16 points, six rebounds and three assists per game last season. Camden’s a knockdown shooter from deep (example: he hit ten threes in one game). He is mostly a catch-and-shoot player, sometimes being able to create his own shot or utilize a pull-up, but that is where he can grow. Camden’s passing ability is definitely above-average for a forward, and his handles are impressive for his size. He can stretch the floor, which is what Syracuse usually looks for in recruits. Camden has the frame to add some more muscle, which will only benefit his game and allow him to play on the inside with the bigger guys. Camden would fit really well into the Syracuse system and could be a third splash-bro with Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim. Plus, a tandem of him and Benny Williams would be scary good.

QUINCY ALLEN | SF | 4-STARS

SIZE: 6’7, 190 lbs.

HOME TOWN: Washington, DC – Maret School

OTHER OFFERS: NC State, Colorado, Boston College, Clemson, Florida, Howard, Marquette, Miami, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Louisville

EVALUATION: Allen is the best player in D.C. and the 11th ranked small forward in the country for the class of 2021. He’s a long, strong player that would fit well on the wing of the zone. Allen’s offensive game is smooth and he never seems rushed or flustered. He plays a calm pace, which sometimes lulls the defense to sleep and that is when he attacks. Allen’s strength is shooting from the outside with a smooth stroke. He’s less of a spot-up shooter and more of a make-your-own-shot shooter. He shoots off the dribble most of the time and uses a lot of pull-ups to create space. Allen seems comfortable and confident going both left or right. What makes him difficult to defend is that he also has the strength to take a defender to the basket. He isn’t afraid to go into the big guys in the paint, and he has a lot of body control while down there. Allen’s handle isn’t the best, but when he puts his head down he can usually get past any defender. Plus, he’s just an athletic freak that can jump out of the building. Allen would be a massive get for Syracuse, one that could be program altering when you think about pairing him with Dior Johnson.

ARTHUR KALUMA | PF | 4-STARS

SIZE: 6’8, 205 lbs

HOME TOWN: Glendale, AZ – Dream City Christian High School

OTHER OFFERS: Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, UNLV, USC

EVALUATION: Talk about bully-ball. Kaluma is a biggggg dude. He’s the 5th best power forward and 20th best overall player in the class of 2021. His strengths are his size, length and athleticism, especially under the basket. Kaluma is most known for his defense where he has great instincts and shot blocking ability. Although he would be a little short, he could absolutely play in the middle of the zone. Kaluma is a hustler and rebounds on both ends of the court. As for his offense, he loves to bully down low. He’s most comfortable catching on the outside and making offense for himself, which usually ends in the paint. He has the ability to catch with his back to the basket and use a post move, although he doesn’t do it much right now. Plus, he has good vision for his size. Kaluma is a stronger, smarter, more athletic version of Quincy Guerrier. Put Kaluma on one wing and Guerrier on the other and you have a big lineup that can compete with the best. Or put him in the middle with some athletic guards and forwards around him and there’s a small-ball lineup that can outrun its opponents. Either way, Arthur Kaluma could really help out the Orange for years to come.

SAMSON JOHNSON | PF | 3-STARS

SIZE: 6’10, 200 lbs

HOME TOWN: Elizabeth, NJ – St. Patrick High School

OTHER OFFERS: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Virginia Tech, Xavier

EVALUATION: Johnson looks like a little shorter, but more athletic Paschal Chukwu. He lives above the rim and can throw it down with ease. Johnson does his best work in the pick and roll or when guards find him on the inside. He has good instinct on where to be and when, and he relocates a lot to either allow a teammate to drive or to find the soft spot in the defense for himself. What’s surprising and makes Johnson such a good prospect is that he also has a smooth jumper and can readily hit threes. He doesn’t create his own shot, but he can spot up and catch-and-shoot pretty easily. It seems like Johnson’s favorite spot is the corner three. Obviously, with his length he is a great shot blocker and towers over his current high school competition. Some knocks would be that he is pretty skinny for his size and doesn’t really create his own shots, whether that’s on the outside or inside. If he could put on some more muscle he would be able to put his back to the basket and body some guys. Right now he is mostly relying on his teammates to find him for lobs. Still, Johnson would be a good addition to the Orange and could play well in tandem with Frank Anselem.

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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