Earlier today, five-star big man Brandon Huntley-Hatfield announced his commitment to the University of Tennessee. Although Jim Boeheim offered him later in the recruiting process, Huntley-Hatfield had the Orange in his top six. However, the buzz around Huntley-Hatfield for the last couple weeks indicated the Tennessee native would be staying down South.
Huntley-Hatfield joins the Volunteers’ stacked incoming class, headlined by five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler and Auburn transfer Justin Powell. It makes sense that he wants to stay close to home. But for Syracuse fans, it’s a tough pill to swallow.
The Orange are now up a creek without a paddle. It’s already past the time for SU to identify a top center prospect. The class of 2021 is 99% signed, and the class of 2022 is already starting to commit to schools.
The options, recruiting-wise, are shrinking. Seven-foot-one center Donovan Clingan got his first D1 offer from Syracuse, and the Orange are still involved in his recruitment. Unfortunately, it seems like UConn and Michigan are the frontrunners. Former SU target Riley Mulvey is headed to Iowa. Syracuse pledge Kamari Lands says he’ll bring buddies to campus, but there’s no specifics. As Syracuse fans, we’ve heard that refrain before, and it hasn’t exactly worked. Once again, it’s looking like Jim Boeheim might have to bring in a raw prospect and pray he develops.
Syracuse could get lucky and strike gold in the transfer market. The Orange have already garnered two commits from this year’s portal, and after the departure of Alan Griffin, there’s some room on the roster. There are plenty of centers out there from big-time programs, such as Gethro Muscandin from Kansas or Chol Marial from Maryland. Syracuse just has to take a chance.