When you look at Syracuse Men’s Basketball’s recruiting profile for the class of 2021, it’s pretty thin. Let me lay it out for you.
Benny Williams – Signed and Committed
Kaluma is a 6’8”, 205 lbs. forward out of Glendale, Arizona. He’s a consensus four-star recruit and is in the mid-40s nationally. ESPN has him at No. 46, while 247Sports ranks him No. 44 (go Orange).
Kaluma originally signed with UNLV, but decommitted and opened his recruiting back up. Since then, his offer sheet includes Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, among others. However, Sean Stevens, Kaluma’s AAU coach, told Mike McAllister of SportsIllustrated Syracuse the legit list is a little more slim.
“Right now I’d say it’s a four horse race between Arizona, Syracuse, Creighton and Washington with Western Kentucky hanging around a little bit… Syracuse being really the only program that was recruiting him pre-UNLV at a high extent.”
When looking at his options other than SU, Kaluma would have his best opportunity to play immediately at Arizona. The Bearcats only have one power forward in Azuolas Tubelis, but not much depth after that. Creighton and Washington both have decent options at forward right now. It wouldn’t hurt to add a talented young player like Kaluma, but it’s not needed.
Syracuse on the other hand, Kaluma could theoretically start immediately. The Orange lost both of their starting forwards, with Marek Dolezaj leaving for the pros and Quincy Guerrier entering the transfer portal. Now SU is looking at Cole Swider or Benny Williams to start at the four. Benny is a little too small and would be much better at the three. So, that means if Kaluma came in and impressed, he could start over Swider. Even if he didn’t earn the starting spot, he would most likely be one of the first few guys off the bench.
Landing Kaluma would be absolutely massive for Syracuse. First, the recruiting class of 2021 is extremely small. Especially if Benny lives up to the hype and is a one-and-done or a two-and-done, SU could be dealing with the ramifications of this small class in a couple years. Kaluma would ease those pains.
Getting Kaluma would also sure up the biggest area of question on this team. The guards are already set in stone and I’d put pretty close to my life savings on Bourama Sidibe being the starting center with Jesse Edwards coming in whenever Sidibe makes a dumb mistake or gets in foul trouble. With all of that being said, the forwards are still up in the air. Benny, Swider, Jimmy Boeheim, and maybe (hopefully) Kaluma. That would be a great group. They would battle for playing time and the competition would make them better.
Plus, Kaluma could be a cornerstone you can build around for years to come. He has the skills and size to be a serious player, almost Guerrier-esque. You get Kaluma, and you have a great player for years to come.
Simply put, Syracuse needs to go all-in for Arthur Kaluma.