For many programs, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of basketball recruiting drama. The Orange, on the other hand, has been sitting pretty with its four impressive recruits for nearly a full calendar year.
Earlier in the week, Scout released its final edition of player and team recruiting class rankings for the incoming classes of 2015. The Orange‚Äôs class of four was once ranked as the best in the country, and remained in the top five for nearly the entire recruiting cycle. However, now that nearly every player is committed to a school, Scout currently ranks Syracuse‚Äôs recruiting class as the 12th-best in the nation.
According to Scout, SU has four four-star recruits coming in. Only one of those players, Malachi Richardson, is in the top 50 overall, while the other three are ranked inside the top 100. The Orange has the third-highest ranked recruiting class in the ACC, behind top-ranked Duke and sixth-ranked Louisville. Surprisingly enough, Florida State‚Äôs class is ranked just below SU‚Äôs at 13.
It seems like Syracuse was hurt by the lack of a five-star recruit and top-50 players in its class. However, as Syracuse fans are very accustomed to, SU thrives with players that specifically fit the 2-3 zone and the system, and do not necessarily need the top players to contend. In 2014, Scout ranked SU‚Äôs class as the 25th-best in the nation, and in 2013, the Orange‚Äôs five-man class was 11th-best in the nation.
Syracuse‚Äôs incoming class comes at a perfect time for the program because all four players are going to be relied upon heavily to contribute due to the scholarship restrictions, NBA Draft declarations, and transfers.
Richardson, the Orange‚Äôs lone five-star recruit, is the 29th-best player in the entire class. His ranking was definitely hurt due to his poor performances in high school all-star games. He is the sixth-best recruit at his position, however.
The Orange‚Äôs next highest ranked recruit is Tyler Lydon, who Scout ranks as the 66th overall player in the class. He is considered the 12th-best recruit at his position, however, his stock rose as the season rolled on. Moustapha Diagne, an often under appreciated big man, was ranked 77th in the class, but was right behind Lydon as the 13th-best at his position.
Guard Franklin Howard rounds out the class ranked 81st in the country, and the 23rd-best two guard. With his unusual size at 6-foot-6, Howard will have multiple ways to contribute to the team aside from scoring, and he may turn out to be one of the better players in this class four years from now when all is said and done.
Posted By: Jason Weingold