A dark cloud hangs its head over Central New York after Syracuse missed out on its second NCAA Tournament in three years. The Orange returns to the NIT Tournament for the first time in a decade, a result that screams disappointment to a fan base that has become accustomed to being a perennial threat in the Big Dance, regardless of its seed.
With such sorrow taking over on the Hill, the attention for the program must already start shifting towards next year. With recent news that point guard Tremont Waters is reopening his recruitment, the Orange needs to make a splash to make up for its March shortcomings. ESPN’s Jeff Borzello reports that Syracuse is amongst the teams making a push for the Connecticut native.
Duke and Syracuse are among the teams expected to get involved with Tremont Waters since he reopened his recruitment, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 13, 2017
Waters is a four-star point guard that ESPN ranks as the 33rd best prospect in the Class of 2017. He originally committed to Georgetown back in October. Recent turmoil has struck the Hoya program after a 14-18 finish, leading to questions surrounding head coach John Thompson III’s job security. While Waters is not the ideal size for the Orange’s scheme (listed at 5-foot-11), SU showed it can make do as evidenced by John Gillon’s season.
A player with the combination of Waters’ skill and position should send Jim Boeheim on hands and knees to his doorstep. The point guard situation for 2017 is a mess sent from hell at this point. Strike one was Frank Howard certainly not panning out the way many had hoped he would. Remember CBS’ Jon Rothstein’s “Franklin Howard. Buy stock now.” tweet? That would have sent investors looking for a new advisor. Strike two of the 2017 point guard saga was the most devastating: missing out on five-star point guard Quade Green. The future Kentucky Wildcat was swept away from Boeheim in a seemingly 11th hour push by John Calipari. Green would have been far and away the best player in the Orange’s 2017 recruiting class. After it appeared SU had locked down Green, the Philadelphia native bolted for the greener grasses of Lexington, a team that will contend for a national title this season. The last strike, we’ll count as a foul tip. Gillon has handled the lion’s share of SU’s point guard duties this season, but the Colorado State transfer is gone after this season. This is a situation the Orange knew of coming in, so Gillon was clearly out of the plans for 2017-18. However, it really hurts that a player as clutch and productive as Gillon was in his single season won’t be returning.
So now Boeheim and company must protect the plate. It’s not often that the chance to pick up the missing piece to your team falls right into your lap, and Waters gives the Orange that opportunity.
Plus, what sweeter way to do it than to steal from Georgetown.