Zion Cruz has all the assets to be one of the best point guards in college hoops, and programs like Indiana, Alabama, Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse are on his tail. The 6’5″ combo guard insists he’s a point, and he’s touted as the best player in New Jersey. He’s considered the 4th best combo guard in the nation for his class according to 247 Sports, and a top 20 player overall.
In a conversation with Rivals last summer, Cruz discussed his recruitment. At the time the only visit he had taken was to Syracuse when he watched the Orange play Duke. A nugget to remember when he chooses his school will be the description of his preferred offense.
“I’m looking for a place that has an open run where they really just let us play.” – Zion Cruz
Cruz is adamant he’s a point guard, so he wants to have the ball in his hands to make plays. It makes sense he wants an open-flow offense where he can constantly be pushing the ball to create scoring opportunities. Nate Oates has brought that style to Alabama and built them into a powerhouse in the SEC. What type of offense does Mike Woodson envision at Indiana? His NBA teams weren’t exactly known as free-wheeling scoring machines. Syracuse has been a hybrid for years. Jim Boeheim has entrusted some of his point guards to create as they wish (Jonny Flynn, Sherman Douglas, Tyler Ennis), but usually limited that type of freedom for most of his players.
Cruz is also not shy in his self-confidence. What will fans and media see when they watch him for the first time?
“They are going to see everything, they are going to be like whoa. I can’t even tell you it is just, it is going to be a movie.” – Zion Cruz
“Like a happy movie” would be a positive result for SU fans as they watch talent exit through the transfer portal. But if coaches want to lure this crunch-time stud to their program, giving him some control over the offense is a good place to start.