After five-star Kamari Lands committed to Syracuse on Wednesday, the conversation about the class of 2022 has officially started. Lands, ranked 19th in ESPN’s top 60 players in the class of 2022, picked SU over offers from DePaul, Marquette, Texas Tech, Xavier and Miami (OH). Although this is a huge pickup, and would be the first five-star recruit to come to Syracuse since Chris McCullough in 2014, the Orange aren’t satisfied with just Lands.
A player SU has kept tabs on for a while is 6-foot-6 wing Justin Taylor.
The four-star plays his high school basketball at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The junior averaged over 14 points and five rebounds a game in his first two varsity seasons, shooting nearly 40% from the field.
Taylor handles the ball well, especially outside the perimeter. He has a quick first step and drives with a vengeance toward the cup, not afraid to throw it down on occasion. He is also a poised catch-and-shoot weapon from distance. What stands out in Taylor’s game is his decisiveness. Whenever he catches the ball, his first instinct is to put it on the deck, either opening up a shot off the dribble or finding a seam to the hoop.
The Virginia native is a righty with great left hand mechanics. Taylor can drive both ways and has a knack for finishing through contact with either hand. With some development at the college level, plus the expectation that his game will be polished over time, Taylor has a lot of potential with his size, length and innate ability.
For all these reasons, Syracuse has made Taylor a high priority. He detailed his strong and consistent relationship with SU’s coaching staff to plenty of sources, FanNation Syracuse included.
But the Orange aren’t the only school on the prowl. Taylor’s offers span over 20 programs, most notably North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Indiana and Georgetown. Big Ten programs like Purdue and Michigan have also shown interest.
The biggest advantage SU has is 2021 recruit Benny Williams, who knows Taylor through the AAU circuit, in which they’ve played on the same team. According to Fansided’s Neil Adler, Taylor said Williams had talked to him about joining him on the Orange.
This would be a huge grab for Syracuse, knowing that a Williams return in 2022 could solidify a dangerous three-headed monster with him, Lands and Taylor on the Hill.