It has not been a good week for Syracuse basketball. Mike Hopkins left to take over a program that won one conference game last season and Syracuse’s best player has announced that he won’t return next season. Fans looking ahead to next season might feel a bit uneasy when they see that the Orange’s recruiting class for 2017 is 55th in the nation, below where one expects to find Syracuse. Well, Jim Boeheim and Gerry McNamara are trying to change that.
Boeheim and his assistant coach boarded a plane and went down to Georgia to meet 2017 4-star forward Jordan Tucker, who cut Syracuse from his list earlier in his recruitment process. Tucker, a 6-7, 200 pound small forward, narrowed his list to Indiana and Villanova but Georgia Tech and Syracuse have begun to make a push for his services. Reportedly, Tom Crean’s firing at Indiana has turned Tucker off from the Hoosiers a bit as he was close to the now former head coach.
It is certainly possible that Tyler Lydon’s decision to leave lit a fire under Boeheim and forced him to realize that he needs someone who can play the wings. If the season started today, he would probably be playing Matthew Moyer and Taurean Thompson at the forward positions. Moyer may prove himself to be a legitimate starter at that position but Boeheim might have been counting on having Lydon to eat up serious minutes. Syracuse does have two forwards already coming in in the 2017 class in O’Shae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe, but both of them are three star recruits, according to 24/7 and Sidibe is more built to play power forward or center.
The Orange have 11 scholarships to dish out for next season and only have eight scholarship players as of right now, meaning Boeheim and co. can bring in three more players. Syracuse very well may attempt to dive into the graduate transfer “free agent” market in order to fill some of the remaining spots but one maybe, just maybe, filled by Jordan Tucker.