Syracuse’s start to the 2015-2016 basketball season has been less than ideal. With the team now 0-3 in conference play, many fans are questioning if the Orange’s glory days have passed. After a final four run and a 25-0 start to the following season, Orange basketball has been on a downhill trend for two years.
Despite all of this, there is reason to believe that the future will be bright, and it could be as soon as next year. At it’s current pace, it would be hard to believe that any underclassmen would leave for the draft early. Therefore, the Orange should only be losing its graduating seniors: Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney, and Dajuan Coleman.
The Orange already has two commitments for next season in forward Matthew Moyer and guard Tyus Battle. Both of these players, who have signed their letters of intent, are extremely talented and are being recognized for it. Battle and Moyer have been nominated for the McDonald’s All American Game as of Tuesday. While nearly 400 players nationwide are nominated for the honor, there is a good reason to believe that Battle will participate in the game, and Moyer could slip in as well. The list will be trimmed down to 24 players in a little over a week.
Because Syracuse was given a scholarship back as part of revised NCAA sanctions, it is free to pursue another target in the Class of 2016. So far, it looks like their man is forward Taurean Thompson, a 6-foot-9 New Jersey product who has long been linked to Syracuse. Before Paschal Chukwu accepted a transfer and the sanctions were handed down, SU had pursued Thompson. He currently plays at Brewster Academy, which has produced Syracuse products Chris McCullough and CJ Fair, and holds a majority of offers from northeastern schools. He took an official visit to campus in September and has since picked up an offer from Pittsburgh.
Thompson, like Battle and Moyer, was also nominated to play in the McDonald’s All American Game. According to 247sports, Thompson is a four-star prospect, ranked as the 11th-best center in the country, and is the top player in his state. However, at 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds, he will most likely play the wing. 247sports expects Thompson to commit to Syracuse sometime in the spring.