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The Syracuse-Kamari Lands Marriage Did Not Last Long… Now What?

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In a summer full of good news, the ending took the worst of turns for Syracuse basketball. Four-star small forward Kamari Lands has decommited from Syracuse after picking the Orange in April.

This is the third time in the last three years that a recruit ranked within ESPN’s top 25 has reversed his previous verbal commitment. Darius Bazley did so in ’18 and Dior Johnson did the same last year. Lands is the most unfortunate case though, with SU’s 2022 class already slated as top five in the country.

Now it’s time to pivot if you’re the Orange.

Step 1: Make sure Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland are 100% on board

What this most recent decision, as well as the last few recruiting misfortunes, has shown fans and programs is that a verbal commitment means nothing until the players put pen to paper. The Orange still have a pair of four-stars, and soon-to-be teammates for their final year of high school, that make SU a formidable opponent to anyone in the country. However, those two cannot change course if Syracuse wants to be competitive.

It’s all about reassuring Taylor and Copeland that more 2022 talent is on the way and the two still have a chance to build something special.

Step 2: Snag another 3+ star

In order to challenge the best in the ACC and ranked teams throughout, SU needs another weapon. Although Lands is a borderline five-star and almost irreplaceable, the Orange still have tabs on high-level recruits.

Four-stars JJ Starling and Chance Westry are the focus. Starling is the local product and could catapult himself into the starting lineup with Lands out of the picture. Westry is a developmental case. All predictions had him ending up at LSU last week due to his probable reserved role behind Lands, Taylor and Copeland. Now, with no Lands, Westry could return to his drawing board if the Orange haven’t already shot themselves in the foot by not making the four-star a priority.

Step 3: Change the formula for the future

It’s simple: this can’t continue.

These decommitments are no longer happenstance. With NIL as major factor, SU needs to change how it goes after recruits, but mainly, how it keeps commits on board.

Do something different.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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