Thomas Bryant has numerous connections with the Syracuse basketball program. It’s a good thing the 6’10”, Rochester big man rekindled those connections over the weekend.
Bryant began his official visits up On the Hill from Friday until Sunday. The four-star hoops recruit is arguably the missing piece of what would be a dazzling puzzle. That would be SU’s 2015 recruiting class, the one Jim Boeheim titles the school’s “best ever.”
Bryant told Rivals.com the visit was “great.”
Geographically speaking, the Orange hit the nail on the head scheduling this visit as early in fall season as possible. Syracuse got its foot in the door immediately in terms of planning official trips with Bryant. The early date proves he loves the campus and already feels the homeliness SU provides. The Fizz spoke with The Recruit Scoop’s Alex Kline to dig deeper into Bryant’s thought process. Kline says there’s a fresh duo of schools swooping in:
“He’s visiting Indiana October 3rd and Missouri the weekend after that. Those two are pretty new in the picture, but prominent in his recruitment,” Kline said.
The Tigers and Hoosiers have attracted Bryant to their programs because of their ability to develop big men. As Kline notes, just think about Tom Crean’s recent success with post players:
“I’m sure he realizes the opportunities that lie ahead at both,” Kline said. “Missouri is comforting with his former prep school coach there. Indiana would give him a chance to be developed under a guy who has produced three lottery picks in the past two years, including two bigs.”
Cody Zeller and 9th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft Noah Vonleh would be those notable Crean products. Building down low is a top priority across the board. Syracuse is required to shine in the length department because of the infamous 2-3 zone. On the floor size-wise, this trio of Indiana, Missouri and SU is among college basketball’s best inside the paint.
What’s also interesting is that all three schools are in different conferences. This is not a battle between a pair of ACC powerhouses or Big Ten schools. Bryant has not declared these schools as his top three, but it’s leaning that way. He’s got other offers including Florida in the SEC and another Big Ten power in Ohio State. A mixture of programs makes the Bryant sweepstakes intriguing and less deceivable. Kline indicates Bryant’s strong, now updated ties with Syracuse personnel gives the Orange a great advantage.
“It helps that he’s known the SU staff substantially longer and his mother certainly wouldn’t mind having him close to home,” Kline said. “He went to high school with Chinonso Obokoh for two years and that relationship is strong.”
For the record, Bryant went to high school with Missouri small forward Montaque Gill-Caesar for a year. Regardless, he knows people everywhere, even at the newer schools offering him. That’s why Kline is on point about Bryant’s intentions:
“[Bryant] definitely wants to take his visits, learn about these new schools and decide sometime during the fall signing period,” Kline said.
Bryant will rely on his patience to ease into decision time. He’s on record saying SU is his top school of choice. Again, it was good to get him first. Reminding and telling Bryant pretty much everything one hour away from him is his for the taking will be pretty hard to pass up.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen