This weekend marks the 13th annual Jordan Brand Classic. Top recruit Malachi Richardson is Syracuse’s lone representative on the All-American Boys Team, and he will be matching up with some of the best recruits in the country.
Part of this upcoming weekend is a regional game, which highlights the best incoming talent in the New York City area. In this game, the Orange will have three representatives: Franklin Howard, Tyler Lydon, and Moustapha Diagne.
This means that all four of the Orange’s incoming recruits will be in the spotlight this weekend, so fans will have a chance to get an early glimpse at SU’s newest freshmen stars against premiere talent.
Richardson will play on the East team alongside some premiere talent like Isaiah Briscoe, Thomas Bryant, and Cheick Diallo. After struggling in the McDonald’s All-American game a few weeks ago, look for Richardson to get his shooting stroke back. He went scoreless in 14 minutes, shooting 0-for-6 from the floor with just one rebound. He was 0-for-5 from behind the arc. A solid performance would be a reassuring thing for Orange fans, which are expecting Richardson to come in and contribute right away.
Howard, Lydon, and Diagne will play in the regional game alongside some lesser-known prospects. All three guys are rated four-star prospects. This game will be the best measure of the three players’ ability to date. Howard, who will fight for time in a crowded backcourt next season, has great size at 6-foot-5. He is a member of the “home” team.
His future teammates, however, will play for the “away” team. Diagne recently wrapped up an impressive senior season in which he led his team to a state title and second place in New Jersey’s tournament of champions. His 7-foot-3 wingspan will be on display against some tough competition. Lydon, who played for America’s U18 team can shoot the ball from the outside while also playing big down low.
When watching these games, the most important thing to keep an eye on is how well players match up against legitimate size. In high school these players were the best on their team, and had their way against smaller, less-talented rosters. Next year in the Dome, these players are going to match up with the best collection of talent that they have ever faced, so Friday’s games at the Barclays Center will be a great benchmark for the future.
Posted By: Jason Weingold