The big games bring out the biggest names, and that could include high school athletes too.
With the highly anticipated Duke vs. Syracuse game only two days away, Syracuse has the tools to win it this year. Tyler Ennis has proven to be one of the nation’s best point guards, even as a freshman. Jerami Grant has stepped into a big role as a starter and is still expected to leave the 315 for the NBA after this season.
Since the game is nationally televised on ESPN and Syracuse is the site for ESPN’s College GameDay, this is a game the nation’s top high school ballers will be watching.
In other words, this game is big for recruiting.
The Orange has gone deep into the NCAA tournament two years in a row. With a No. 2 ranking and talent at all six positions on the court (if you count Jim Boeheim as the Hall of Fame head coach), the Orange has the tools to win its first title since 2003 and its second in school history. The face of the ACC has always been either Duke or UNC. Syracuse vs. Duke in the Dome is the game Orange fans have been waiting for since it was announced that Syracuse would join the ACC. For any high school athlete looking at attending an ACC school, this is the game to sway him in the right direction.
Record-setting attendance. Syracuse should expecting attendance to surpass what it was for last year’s final game against Georgetown. This is probably one of, if not the, hottest tickets in college basketball. Students camped out for this. It will be loud. For the high school stars who want to play in front of diehard fans who brave the frigid, frozen tundra we call Syracuse, NY, they’ll get to see it for sure.
Competition. This is a battle of not only two very talented teams, but of two nationally recognized powerhouse programs. This is a game for the recruits to attend and to sit courtside for. It’s the perfect opportunity to see what college basketball is about. It’s a battle, and Syracuse will be looking for not only bragging rights, but to continue its tradition of winning against the nation’s top opponents.
Visits. When Ennis took his visit to the Dome and watched a game, he noticed the atmosphere and the fans. He wanted to play in front of loud, dedicated fans. That’s what he does now as the starting point guard. Nothing has changed since he was in high school. If any high school basketball player has a similar goal, he would get the feel for it at this game.
National TV spotlight. If Syracuse continues to take advantage of national spotlight games and pull out wins, it will only mean more opportunities in the future. Playing on national TV is the chance to have people know the players. It’s a chance to let everyone know about the team and watch it play. For the players with the big wish of playing on the big stage in the NBA, the national powerhouse which plays games on national TV is the right fit.
Syracuse and Duke tip off at 6:30 p.m. EST. It’s the first of two during the season. The Orange visit the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22.
Posted by: Austin Pollack