Funny how things work. Syracuse was tracking Brandon Huntley-Hatfield intensely since the start of the new year. While the 5-star power forward was a Tennessee native and the Vols were hot on him, the Orange jumped into the fray in January and started making headway. The SU staff was calling him non-stop and by the time the NCAA Tournament started it seemed like the Orange had positioned themselves very well. Ultimately, BHH chose his home-state Tennessee.
The Orange have Benny Williams coming this fall, and a veteran backcourt to soak up minutes. It’s the Class of ’22 where SU has been the most active, nabbing Kamari Lands and offering a number of 5-star talents. On April 15, Huntley-Hatfield chose the Vols and reclassified to Class of ’21. That meant a scholarship offer was freed up for the Orange, and focus went back to the Class of ’22. Less than a week later on April 21, Kyle Filipowski announced that SU had offered him.
Had the Orange gotten Huntley-Hatfield everyone would have been happy. He’s an elite talent, a scorer both inside and outside, and one of the 20 best prep players in the country. But Filipowski is also a high-end talent with power programs interested, and perhaps the only way this road opens up is because BHH selected Tennessee. He’s 6’10”, 215 lbs. and has the. frame to bulk up even more. Offers? Connecticut, Creighton, Georgetown, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Xavier… and others.
Filipowski told SI.com that he was thrilled when SU offered him, even though they had been in contact for awhile already.
“Man I was blown away. When I saw coach Boeheim‚Äôs face on the screen I was trying to play it off cool without freaking out. And then having the conversation I did with him where he told me how rare of a talent I am and how he thinks I‚Äôm one of the top players in the country, really meant something special to me.” – Kyle Filipowski to Mike McAllister
Some believe after another AAU summer for the New York Rens, Filipowski will jump up to a 5-star prospect and become even higher profile. If the Orange are able to land one of the best players in the country in ’22, pairing him with Lands, all because their focus could appropriately shift after BHH? Well, that would be a fortuitous bounce of the ball, as they say.