First it was Kamari Lands. Then it was Justin Taylor. Now it’s Quadir Copeland. What does it mean? It’s a top 5 recruiting class for the Class of 2022 according to 247 Sports. Currently, only Ohio State, Kansas, UNC and UConn sit above the Orange. Not even Duke’s class with SU target Kyle Filipowski ranks ahead of Syracuse (the Blue Devils are currently 9th).
All of this, of course, is subject to change. There’s plenty more commitments and decommitments to come before the Class of ’22 is finalized. But it’s an early show of force by Syracuse, and a validation for all the hard work the coaching staff has put in.
No matter how confidently Jim Boeheim strides into press conferences or AAU tournaments, the reality remains: he’s nearing 80. He’ll turn 77 in November and as durable and defiant as he is, it’s hard to imagine Boeheim coaching into his 80s. That means the truth is out there and obvious. You’re recruiting talent that could be there longer than he is. Most of his peers are retired or retiring. And that every school is using that against him on the prep trail.
But Gerry McNamara and company have become a standout group, collecting major talent, especially this year. Lands insisted he would help recruit more talent to CNY and it looks like he’s delivering on that. Taylor has openly talked about creating a super class whose goal is a national championship. The expectations are high.
Currently, the only thing the ’22 class is lacking is a 5-star. Ohio State, Kansas and UNC all have one, which helps prop them higher. UConn has 7-1 big man Donovan Clingan, and two other 4-stars. Copeland is listed as a 3-star, which drops SU’s ranking a notch below the Huskies.
The balance of the SU class is fantastic. Lands can play the small forward, Taylor the shooting guard, and Copeland possibly the point. Boeheim rarely uses every player in a traditional role, however. So mostly SU will allow multiple wing players to play together.
It’s far from finished, and teams needs to stack talent in the era of transfer portals, knowing they may not stay for very long. But it’s an early flex by the Orange. It’s a top 5 recruiting class.