We’re still a good couple of months away from Syracuse men’s basketball re-taking the floor in the Dome, but we’ve still had quite a bit to talk about this summer. SU’s class of ‘22 recruiting group has taken shape and quickly become a pretty intriguing group of players.
Some of those recruits (and other SU targets) are down in North Augusta, South Carolina right now to play in Nike’s annual EYBL Peach Jam tournament. For those unfamiliar, Peach Jam is a tournament for some of the country’s premier high school talent and serves as a recruiting boon for college coaches. The prospect of seeing recruits play live takes on even more importance this year after spending a pandemic-altered 2020 watching players perform over digital platforms. Last year, the pandemic prevented Peach Jam from even taking place.
Currently, the group stage of Peach Jam is still going on. Tomorrow, games shift to single-elimination before the championship game is played Sunday.
In total, there are two verbal SU commits and a few other program targets who have taken part in the tournament. Here’s how they’ve performed so far, starting with the commits. Keep in mind every player mentioned is graduating in the high school class of 2022.
JUSTIN TAYLOR (Class of ‘22 4-Star SF)
Taylor was a big get for Jim Boeheim and staff back in late June and joined Kamari Lands as another 4-star in the class of 2022. The Charlottesville native tallied 10 points, six rebounds, and six assists in Team Takeover’s 65-61 loss to Pro Skills.
KAMARI LANDS (Class of ‘22 4-Star SF)
Lands was the first class of ‘22 player to commit to SU back on April 6th and currently plays for Team Why Not in the consolation bracket of the tournament. They’ve only played one game so far (and won it), but Lands didn’t appear in the 68-51 win over Bates Fundamentals.
A couple of players who have been heavily recruited by SU (but haven’t committed yet) are playing in this tournament as well. 6’6 190 lb SF Chance Westry balled out for The New York Renaissance in Tuesday’s win over Phenom University, racking up a team-high 17 points, six boards, and four steals. Currently, Westry is tabbed by 247Sports as SU’s “top target”, and its Crystal Ball predicting system has him as a likely commit to the Orange.
6’4 180 lb CG Quadir Copeland put up six points, three boards, and four assists against New Heights Lightning in a 68-52 loss on Tuesday. He, like Westry, has 247Sports predicting a likely Syracuse commitment. Copeland visited SU exactly a calendar month ago.
Rounding things out, 6’4 180 lb CG J.J. Starling didn’t appear in the Albany City Rocks’ game against MoKan Elite on Tuesday. Starling has received offers from SU, Alabama, and Duke, among others.
UPDATE: As of the afternoon of July 22nd, Starling will not finish the tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test, per the New York Times.