Something needs to give if five-star center Thomas Bryant chooses Syracuse this spring. Jim Boeheim only has 13 basketball scholarships at his disposal every season. This year only ten players are on full scholarships, which means SU’s walk-ons are getting some money as well. If Bryant joins the program next year, the Orange would not have enough scholarships for every player that is in line to receive one.
Rakeem Christmas is graduating in the spring so that leaves nine players on scholarship going into next season. SU currently has a 2015 recruiting class of four players, which means that all thirteen scholarships would be used next year if no one else committed and every underclassman on the roster this year stays put. If Bryant committed, then Syracuse would have 14 players on basketball scholarships, putting them over the limit. One player who is set to earn a scholarship next season will have to leave the program to make room for Bryant if he chooses Syracuse.
The most likely outcome in that scenario is that Chris McCullough leaves school after one season and heads to the NBA. If he elects to stay then the Orange would be in a bind. It’s pretty much impossible to say no to a five-star player (there are only 18 in 2015 according to ESPN) so if Bryant wants to play at Syracuse and McCullough stays then someone would have to transfer.
So how likely is it that Bryant comes to Syracuse? There’s a very good chance. Bryant’s mother said in late November that her son’s decision is down to Indiana and Syracuse, but the Orange has always been the leading school. She also claimed Bryant’s visit to Kentucky only occurred so her son could catch up with some former teammates. The center said he plans to make his decision in the spring. It will certainly be interesting to see how all of this unfolds.
Posted: Connor Morrissette