It’s officially springtime, and that means most high school basketball seasons (most because of the weird things the pandemic has done to the scheduling) are over. That means it’s time for AAU basketball. The most over-scrutinized form of pre-college hoops where one-on-one skill is prioritized over anything else. It’s easy to get lost in the jumble of players, teams and shoe companies that currently make up grassroots basketball. Here are three things that Syracuse fans should be watching.
This is the most obvious answer. Lands, SU’s only commit in the class of 2022, has already drawn praise before the kickoff of the Nike EYBL circuit.
The 6-foot-8 wing is supposed to be playing with the Indy Heat Gym Rats (not confirmed just yet, couldn’t find any video footage).
Syracuse fans should be tuned in to every single game Lands plays, as this is the future at the wing spot, maybe alongside Benny Williams.
New York Renaissance (commonly known as the Rens) is a storied AAU program, featuring a couple of high-priority Syracuse targets. Four-stars Chance Westry and Kyle “Flip” Filipowski, who got a SU offer last week, are teaming up for their final AAU season. Westry, who’s playing his high school ball with Sierra Canyon in California, has been one of Jim Boeheim’s top priorities for a while now, even before Dior Johnson’s subsequent commitment and decommitment. Filipowski is a recent focus after SU swung and missed on a couple of other centers in the class of ’22.
There’s always a player or two during this last stretch of ball that comes out of nowhere to rise up the rankings. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason as to why. Some players just hit that late growth spurt, i.e. an Anthony Davis, and explode onto the scene. Keep it locked to our Twitter @orangefizz for the latest SU recruiting news.