Now that the Tyus Battle frenzy has finally subsided, the Orange are moving on accordingly, as they should. The Fizz has documented in the past week some potential targets for the Orange in the future like Kobi Simmons, Sedee Keita, and Howard Washington.
In the last few days, the Orange has been conneted to Taurean Thompson, a 6-foot-9 forward from New Jersey. Thompson, who will graduate from St. Anthony, has recently appeared on the Orange’s radar. This may be due to top recruit Harry Giles’ waning interest in SU.
Giles, widely considered a top two recruit in the country, had once named Syracuse in his top eight schools. But, he recently published a blog post through USA Today Sports with no mention of the Orange. The North Carolina native seems to be leaning towards blue bloods Duke, UNC, and Kentucky, and nearby dark horse Wake Forest.
Thompson has similar size to Giles but clearly doesn’t have the same level of talent as one of the top two recruits in the nation. ESPN rates Thompson a four-star recruit, but his game is on the rise. In his senior year, Thompson averaged 10.7 points per game, but just 1.2 boards per game in his junior year. It was the first year that Thompson saw significant playing time after being injured his sophomore year.
His game is developing steadily, and his performance next season will be a huge determinant as to whether he can fit in the Orange system. Like many Orange prospects, Thompson is an athletic big man who can run the floor. Despite playing center in high school, he would most likely play wing for the Orange. He has a strong and growing mid-range jumper but struggles heavily with his back to the basket. All of these signs point to him lining up at the wing for the Orange and not the center spot.
Thompson is starting to percolate on draft boards across the country, and the Orange has to get its foot in the door early to make an impact on Thompson. It’s interesting that the team is focusing on a forward after making a strong push for guards. Commit Matthew Moyer is also a forward.
Posted By: Jason Weingold