Hoops season is officially back in the mix with college basketball’s annual Midnight Madness taking place this Friday. But the future remains on the minds of the Orange faithful up On the Hill.
You can thank Jim Boeheim for that.
The Per’Fesser is already on record saying the 2015 hoops recruiting class is Syracuse’s “best ever.” Boeheim may need to reconsider how he teased the idea of another recruit being added. The mystery player Boeheim told Syracuse.com’s Bud Polquin back in late July that he “can’t talk about” is speculated to be…ah, yes: Thomas Bryant.
The hype continues to surround the timetable of the star forward Bryant’s decision. The 6’10, Huntington Prep big man recharged his visit brigade over the weekend. Bryant was at SU about three weeks ago and visited Missouri this past weekend. SNY.tv reports Bryant enjoyed the visit and he aims to make a college selection sometime in the spring. Oz Cross, a closer, former coach of Bryant, told SNY’s Adam Zagoria the visit with Mizzou was encouraging.
“He said he liked it. The coaching staff is good, they’re doing a good job recruiting him. They’re saying that they want to bring in a good class and compete, and that’s the biggest thing. He liked the practice, he thought the practice was really good. Obviously, they have to get some more players.”
And the Tigers are doing everything they can to do just that. SNY’s report says Bryant was joined by guards Isaiah Briscoe and Antonio Blakeney, The witty point guard Briscoe holds a Syracuse offer but he eliminated the Orange from his list. It always helps to surround a head-honcho recruit by a respectable supporting cast.
That’s just on the floor. The job is getting done personnel-wise, too. As The Recruit Scoop’s Alex Kline told The Fizz in September, Missouri hired former Huntington coach Rob Fulford as an assistant coach. Fulford reeled in Bryant’s former teammate, incoming freshman Montaque “Teki” Gill-Caesar last year .
Current Huntington coach Arkell Bruce told SNY if Missouri were able to land the grouping of Bryant, Briscoe and Blakeney, then what do you know:
“It would be one of the top recruiting classes.”
Bruce is just a high school coach, but Missouri is on to something here. The program has a handful of coaches who know Bryant, have coached him and most importantly understand him. Smartly it brought in players Bryant is attracted to and they have some perennial talent. The Tigers hit a homerun over the weekend it seems like.
Let this be a warning to Syracuse. Bryant does live in Rochester and has specific links with assistant coach Mike Hopkins, so SU deals some solid cards as well. It’s just that Boeheim sounded awfully confident during the summer “the mystery player” (Bryant) was a lock to go Orange. For the 2015 class to be “great” and not just good, the coaching staff cannot lose sight of Bryant. He’s what makes that distinct separation.
Bryant visits Indiana next week and wants to diligently discuss his plans with his mother to assure a firm, confident decision next spring. The Bryant watch stays in full force.
Posted: Brendan Glasheen