If there‚Äôs one position that has lacked as of recent on the Hill, it‚Äôs the center slot. Over the past couple years, Bourama Sidibe and Paschal Chukwu have clogged the paint and added very minimal improvements to their respective SU groups. But a player who can change this fortune is Donovan Clingan, who just released his top eight schools, which includes Syracuse.
Clingan works as a true center at his size, but can also shoot the ball and displays fancy footwork from the elbow to the block. If you want to learn more about the four-star, we have you covered on Fizz.
But the overarching question is if Clingan will commit to Syracuse. It starts with ruling out the other schools from contention to see why the Orange are the best fit.
Mike Brey and the Fighting Irish have done their due diligence so it‚Äôs no shocker to see them on this list. Whenever a D1 program, especially in a power-5 conference like the ACC, stays in contact throughout early high school, the player usually gives them consideration.
That‚Äôs what ND‚Äôs spot on this list is, just consideration. The Fighting Irish went 11-15 last year and love to get out in transition and shoot the three. As a result, Notre Dame finished third in the conference in three-point shooting percentage, and second in attempts. The issue with Clingan going to South Bend is that the stuff in his arsenal, standing at 7‚Äô1‚Äù, won‚Äôt fit into this system.
Notre Dame hasn‚Äôt had a true center since the ‚Äò13-‚Äô14 season and that most likely won‚Äôt change.
The only reason Clingan would choose the Hoyas over schools that present a better winning opportunity is Patrick Ewing. The chance to play under one of the best NBA centers of all time is rare. Also, Qudus Wahab scoring the second most on the team shows the Bristol, Connecticut native that center success is possible.
But, that‚Äôs it. The chance to play under Ewing or the opportunity to make it far in the tournament. Knowing the winning resume of Clingan, he‚Äôll probably choose the success.
The Friars were heavily involved in the recruiting of Clingan before most schools. But at the end of the day, the Big East and a rare chance at March Madness is no ACC with a near-50% chance to make the tournament. Also center Nate Watson averaged a team-high 17 a game but Clingan will only go there if he‚Äôs fine with running a two-man show or carrying the team on his back.
Again: Clingan being considerate because Providence has been so good to him.
A couple years ago, with a lackluster schedule and an even worse team, the Scarlet Knights would be an afterthought. But a round of 32 push, plus a 16-12 record in one of the best conferences a year ago, gives Rutgers a better chance than they previously had.
It‚Äôs all about how the Scarlet Knights recruit because a few high- to mid-level commitments could make this team a viable top 4 option. The only issue is the question of 2021 as a one-off year and an outlier that won‚Äôt happen again at the RAC.
Key win for the Buckeyes: Clingan will play right away. Bad news for OSU: It seems that Clingan is not a main priority and rather, the Buckeyes are looking all over the map with the addition of Indiana transfer Joey Brunk.
Expect Ohio State to be there because of the name and lore, but Clingan will most likely axe Ohio State when he fizzes teams out.
Another big name with success at the center position. Freshman Hunter Dickinson led last year‚Äôs group in points, rebounds and blocks and has very similar splits to Clingan. The class of 2022 recruit has had high praise about Michigan in prior meetings with the Wolverines, which bodes well for Juwan Howard and company.
Michigan is also full of talent. After a 14th ranked recruiting class in 2020 sunk the Wolverines below many programs, UM snagged a pair of five-stars in Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate in the class of 2021, to bolster its status to the number one recruiting class in the country. Add four-stars Kobe Bufkin, Frankie Collins and Isaiah Barnes to the mix and the ‚Äò22-‚Äô23 season could be stacked (this, of course, if most to all of them stay).
The Wolverines will continue to pursue other options and that might hurt their chances at Clingan. Syracuse and other schools eyeing the 7‚Äô1‚Äù high school junior should hope that five-star and the number two recruit in the class of 2022, Jalen Duran, takes that center spot.
No surprise here. Dan Hurley has been trying to keep Clingan at home for a while now. The Huskies have had recent success on the recruiting end and the betting man in me would say that UConn is the favorite right now.
So, why Syracuse? It’s Clingan‚Äôs first offer and he won‚Äôt just make an immediate impact, but will be one of the faces on this team for the near future. The Kamari Lands commitment should help, but it’s the bond that Jim Boeheim and Gerry McNamara have made over time that should seal the deal if Clingan picks SU.
Oh‚Ä¶ and the Orange made the Bristol native his first D1 offer.
It‚Äôll be a while until Clingan makes his decision, but the options are plenty and if Syracuse can snag him, it might be SU‚Äôs best pure center in a very long while.
MY “EARLY PREDICTIONS” LIST:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame