Football season is in full swing, and because of this, it’s very easy to forget about basketball (surprisingly). In most years, SU fans are already thinking about hoops because of the football team’s struggles – but this year it has certainly been a little different with the excitement surrounding the football program.
The most recent big news to hit the basketball team was Moustapha Diagne’s ineligibility, courtesy of the NCAA and its inefficiency. Well, since then, there hasn’t been much of anything going on. Syracuse, still going through its appeals process and waiting for a decision on the NCAA sanctions hasn’t done anything different. The coaching staff is still recruiting to fill one last spot in the class of 2016, which was vacated by Diagne’s potential sophomore season.
Taurean Thompson, a four-star big man out of New Jersey, could be the answer for the Orange in the middle of the zone. The biggest question mark of this season is the frontcourt, and the Orange hasn’t done too much to solve that problem looking ahead. SU will bring in top-rated guard Tyus Battle, forward Matthew Moyer, and transfer center Paschal Chukwu for next season. While Chukwu will provide nice depth at center, the Orange needs more than one guy to anchor the zone.
At 6-foot-9, Thompson has received early comparisons to Hakeem Warrick from his AAU coach, who even went as far as saying that he thinks Thompson is a Syracuse type of player. He was offered a scholarship at the beginning of September and was just on campus last weekend. SU has been connected to Thompson since early-May, and that early connection could pay huge dividends.
This season, Thompson will play at Brewster Academy, which has produced SU stars like CJ Fair and Chris McCullough. Being from New Jersey, Thompson is well-aware of the Syracuse brand because his mom used to take him to the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden every year. The Orange is among a deep list of suitors for Thompson, but there is reason to believe that SU has the edge for the reasons above. 247Sports believes that he will end up in Orange, as well. Thompson’s only other official visit was to Xavier, while he has unofficially visited Rutgers and Seton Hall recently.