Syracuse is in dire need of a big man for 2022 after Kyle Filipowski looks well on his way elsewhere and Donovan Clingan chose to stay local. Although the word “dire” might seem like an over exaggeration, there’s not any current talent on the roster that can confidently fill that center role (unless you believe in John Bol Ajak, Jesse Edwards or Frank Anselem).
But does that warrant an offer to an unranked, developmental recruit?
The Massachusetts native isn’t as sought-out as Flip or Clingan, in fact, 247Sports doesn’t even have a rating next to his name. But when options start to thin, Syracuse is looking to fill spots and possibly hit the jackpot in the process.
But why turn to a 210-pound tall, lanky center with guard-like abilities but a lack of high-level talent. It might be Carey’s comparable build to someone like Marek Dolezaj, who flourished toward the latter half of his career in Central New York.
Carey impressed plenty of programs at a pair of AAU tournaments following the cancellation of his junior season due to COVID-19. From there, he garnered more than just attention, tallying nine D1 offers heading into his senior year at the Northfield Mount Hermon School. Those include Penn, Brown, Bryant, Albany, St. Bonaventure, UMass, Iona, Rutgers and Syracuse.
These programs benefit SU if it plays its cards right. Ultimately, Carey will commit if he’s promised playing time. Based on Jim Boeheim’s track record, SU might not be the proper fit. But if Syracuse’s head man can preach development and playing at the highest level that college basketball has to offer, plus throw in the possibility of a vacant center spot, then Carey could choose the most highly-touted school on his list.
The Orange are taking a chance on Carey and jumping on his bandwagon early, but understandable with the recruiting class at the center position dwindling down. The 7-footer still has a senior season to play and the expectation is a lot more D1 offers to accept. The Orange might be taking a gamble with an unrated recruit in need of further development, but it’s a bet SU should be taking with so many big men off the table.