The McDonald’s All-American Game: where the future stars of college basketball and the NBA step onto the scene. Greats such as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James have played in the game, and today one (well, at least one) future Syracuse player is in Chicago to take his turn.
Malachi Richardson is ranked at #19 on the ESPN 100. He’s quick, he can shoot, he’s 6’6”, and he’s committed to the Orange. The guard will play in the All-American Game less than a week after he, along with fellow Syracuse commit Moustapha Diagne, was named New Jersey First Team All-State by nj.com. But despite all he can do, Richardson will have to share some of the attention from Orange fans.
Thomas Bryant, the five-star commit who had reportedly been leaning towards Syracuse earlier in the year, will also be on the court this evening. Syracuse fans thought the Orange’s recruitment of Bryant was over when the NCAA’s sanctions were released a few weeks ago, given that the reduction in scholarships wouldn’t leave enough room for him to join the roster. However, the ability for Syracuse to push the scholarship restrictions back a year, along with the transfers of B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson, opened the door for the Orange to continue to go after Bryant.
The only problem is that Syracuse hasn’t walked through that door yet.
After an All-American Game practice on Monday, Bryant told reporters that he hadn’t spoken to Jim Boeheim in over two months. He added that Indiana, the school that had been fighting with Syracuse most for Bryant’s services, is recruiting him the hardest.
Why isn’t Syracuse making a final push for Bryant? I have no clue. If Bryant’s talent alone wasn’t enough to get the Orange’s attention, the potential departure of Chris McCullough should have Syracuse scrambling to find a replacement. Bryant is expected to make a decision at the end of the week. If I was the Orange, I’d at least give him a call.
Bryant and Richardson will play against each other in tonight’s All-American Game, which tips off at 9:00 PM EST on ESPN.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson