There’s been frustration around Syracuse that the last two big targets for hoops have spurned the Orange. Thomas Bryant is heading to Indiana, while yesterday Tyus Battle chose Michigan. While the ’16 Class still has work left to do for SU, the current ’15 Class proves why it’s far too early to worry about the Orange talent level.
No doubt, the scholarship reductions will hamper what SU has done. But a scan of ESPN’s top 100 tells you the full story of the present. Syracuse has four players on the list, and essentially the second-best class in the ACC behind Duke. The national champs are going to be loaded yet again (no surprise), and can claim four players in the top 25, including the third-best prospect Brandon Ingram from in-state.
But with Malachi Richardson (#24), Moustapha Diagne (#56), Tyler Lydon (#74) and Franklin Howard (#92), no other squad in the conference (outside of Duke) can boast that type of talent coming in ’15. Florida State came closest, grabbing Dwayne Bacon (a top 15 player in his class) and Malik Beasley (#28), making three players in the top 100. Louisville tabbed three in the top 55. Pitt, UNC, Notre Dame and Miami also have a player apiece on the list.
Syracuse, however is getting top tier talent this year, and plenty of it. Sure, the Orange would’ve loved to add Bryant to this epic class, one that Jim Boeheim has considered one of his best ever. And Battle would’ve been a great building block for ’16. But the Orange is proving just how effective it is in acquiring talent since moving into the nation’s premier basketball conference.