Donovan Clingan has been a name Orange fans have heard rumors of for a little while now. The center prospect from Bristol, CT is 7-1, 255 lbs according to 247. If Syracuse is able to land the 4-star big, it would be the first time a 7-footer over 230 lbs played on the hill since Fab Melo (7-0, 244 lbs) back in the early 2010s. What would a recruit like this mean to Syracuse?
The conversation we’ve all heard so often over the past 5 or so years has been surrounding the anchor of the zone. Fans love to argue that there hasn’t been a strong/talented big man play for this program since Rakeem Christmas lit up the ACC back in 2014-15. Fans aren’t exactly wrong in saying that, SU has certainly missed out on recruits that definitely could’ve changed things, such as, Darius Bazely or Isaiah Stewart. Instead, Syracuse has thrown out guys like DaJuan Coleman, Paschal Chukwu, and Bourama Sidibe. Clingan is nothing like those three names. He’s a strong, dominant big that possesses the skills to put that argument to rest.
Now, you might be wondering what the odds are that Syracuse lands a kid with this kind of frame matched with his skillset. There are plenty of teams in on the 7-footer, schools like Michigan, Michigan St., Notre Dame, Iowa, UCONN, and more have all made offers. In this case, SU’s haste sets them apart. The Orange were the very first team in on Clingan, as he mentioned in a recent interview with Dushawn London of 247Sports, “they [Syracuse] were the first school to offer me so it shows they were believing in me from the start.” A hall of fame coach and recent Sweet 16 run won’t hurt either. The CT product also mentioned how impressed he was the Orange faithful, “I’ve been there before and the atmosphere there for the Syracuse Duke game was crazy. The crowd was packed and seeing that many fans at a college game was crazy.”
Verdict: Clingan would be a huge get for the Orange. As for what exactly he’d mean for the program? To have a solid anchor in the zone who has the ability to score and protect the rim with that kind of size is invaluable. Like Orange fans have remarked, Syracuse has been without one of those guys for too long. To get Clingan would hopefully put this team where it needs to be to break back into the top 25 perennially and potentially re-open the floodgates for SU recruiting.