The Fizz posed the idea of a “Transformers Lineup” with the prospect of Nerlens Noel adding yet another towering body to the Syracuse lineup. N2 chose Kentucky, but the Orange is now looking at big man BeeJay Anya to fortify the center position. The SU front court is adding big bodies. The Orange already has incoming big DaJuan Coleman joining the team this fall, and Jim Boeheim has reached out to PF Noah Vonleh.
Anya is the top remaining center in the Class of ’13, and he has expectations higher than just serving as a backup.
“I’m coming out to be the best big man in the country. I want to show that every game.”
The current layout of Anya’s offer sheet includes Syracuse, Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, Georgetown, and interest from powerhouses such as North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.
The 6’9″, 275-pound beast of Hyattsville, Maryland plays for Team Takeover in the Dallas Elite Youth Basketball League (EYLB). Averaging slightly over 8 points and 2 blocks per game, Anya’s numbers don’t seem astounding, but his coaches praise him highly for leadership, dedication, and commitment to getting better. Anya is the centerpiece of Team Takeover’s run at winning a Peach Jam title this summer.
Syracuse has had great fortune in students recruiting students recently. Anya happens to be a high school teammate with new Orange Jerami Grant. Anya has spoken of the two possibly reuniting in Orange and their great chemistry. The duo could be a deadly combination, especially if they have prior experience playing together. Coach Adrian Autry was a vital piece to the Orange acquiring Grant, and Autry believes Anya would be a great fit.
Anya’s inside game shows how dominant he is. He reportedly has a 7’4″ wingspan, giving him a huge advantage on the rebounding front and protecting the paint. He can also use that size to finish inside, something the Orange have lacked over the years.
In multiple cases we saw Boeheim remove NBA draft-bound Fab Melo just minutes into the first half because of foul trouble, leaving Baye-Moussa Kieta as a center replacement. Anya would obviously help in that role, and a Twin Tower pairing of Coleman and Anya could be incredibly imposing.
Leadership and poise are two of BeeJay’s best qualities. He is a vocal leader not just on the court, but in the locker room. Anya has said that he wants a program where he can grow physically, but also gain mental toughness. Rakeem Christmas elevated his game in the tournament, and has big expectations coming into his sophomore season. A motivated and outspoken player like Anya could bring out even more in Rak.
And finally, no surprises here, Anya wants a program that has a history of winning. What could be better than playing for Boeheim? Anya right now is focused on finishing out his AAU career with a championship. For a player as young as he is, to put winning before accolades says a lot about his character and the kind of player he could be at the college level.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen