2022 could prove to be the best recruiting class in Syracuse basketball history, or at least in recent history. The Orange already have four-star Kamari Lands committed. Plus they are in the mix for plenty of other high-level talent like Kyle Filipowski, Donovan Clingan, Zion Cruz, and many more.
Syracuse has offered more than a dozen recruits in the class of 2022 and now they need to extend one more– Christ Essandoko. If you are having some trouble pronouncing his name, it‚Äôs because he‚Äôs from France. If you haven‚Äôt even heard his name before, it‚Äôs because he has been largely under-recruited. The center hasn‚Äôt garnered enough attention yet to make any recruiting rankings or earn a star-evaluation. Don‚Äôt worry, though, Essandoko will be on the national rankings very soon.
Essandoko moved from France to go to high school at Winston Salem Christian down in North Carolina. He has been making the rounds through the AAU circuit over the past couple weeks and has turned a lot of heads while doing so. Just last week, Essandoko received scholarship offers from Providence and Maryland. According to Rivals, he now has 12 scholarship offers, including Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and others. Plus, there is a laundry list of schools showing interest:
Look at that. Second on the list of schools recruiting Essandoko the hardest recently is Syracuse. Good.
Essandoko would be an amazing get for the Orange. Don‚Äôt be fooled by his non-ranked rankings. He‚Äôll eventually get there with more exposure. Plus, tape doesn‚Äôt lie:
What stands out first when you watch Essandoko? Well, it has to be his size. He‚Äôs 6‚Äô11‚Äù, 265 pounds with a 7‚Äô6‚Äù wingspan. Syracuse is no stranger to long bodies– Pascal Chukwu, Bourama Sidibe, Fab Melo to just name a few. However, the Orange haven‚Äôt had a physically strong and large big man in a while. Right now, Sidibe and Jesse Edwards are about 265 pounds combined (kidding, but not really).
Essandoko would be a change of pace for Syracuse. He is a big guy that can bully guys down low and work on the glass. Exhibit A:
For his size, Essandoko is also a freak athlete. He has above-average ball skills, can run the break really well, and has pretty darn good court-vision. In an interview with Travis Branham of 247Sports, Essandoko said:
“When I am at my best I think I got good footwork and post moves. I can shoot the three-ball, I can handle the ball, I can pass the ball, I got great vision.”
He‚Äôs no point-forward, but he is way more athletic and coordinated than most big men. Exhibit B:
Syracuse is in on a lot of guys in the class of 2022, but not a ton of centers. The only true center they have offered is Clingan, who doesn‚Äôt seem too high on the Orange. Most reports point towards UConn or Michigan. SU has two offers to power forwards– Filipowski and Jarace Walker. The Orange are fourth on Filipowski‚Äôs list and Walker has about a billion offers and has shown more interest elsewhere.
So, there‚Äôs a good chance Syracuse doesn‚Äôt land any of those guys. That‚Äôs why the Orange need to offer Essandoko ASAP. He isn‚Äôt a widespread, known recruit just yet, but that is quickly changing. More and more schools are starting to hear about him and being one of the last in will not help SU. The Orange need to take the leap from interest to offer and try to lock up Essandoko. He would be yet another great get for Syracuse in the recruiting class of 2022.