The 2022 recruiting scene has been extra kind to Syracuse from the jump. The Orange were the fourth program to lock in two ESPN top 100 players (Kamari Lands – 24, Justin Taylor – 99), and have a few 247Sports crystal ball predictions on tap.
But, it was only a matter of time until the big bad wolf of the ACC took over. Following the most recent commitment of five-star Dariq Whitehead, Duke went from no commits to a pair of top 20 recruits (Whitehead and Kyle Filipowski) in the last week.
This is worrisome for Syracuse on three fronts.
- All signs were pointing toward SU having a top 5 2022 class, which is now unlikely to happen.
- Even worse, the Orange have to face the Blue Devils on multiple occasions. That includes the ACC tournament.
- It also doesn’t look like new head coach Jon Scheyer is slowing down on the recruiting trail.
From Flip being torn away from Boeheim’s clutches, to the 14th straight year that Duke has landed an ESPN top 15 recruit, it’s been a rough last week for every other ACC squad, including Syracuse.
But, that can take a turn soon.
In a week, three-star point guard Quadir Copeland will dwindle his list of eight down to his future home in 2022. The 6-foot-6 combo guard announced his final grouping of schools on July 28, with many placing Syracuse and Maryland as his two most likely destinations.
Copeland won’t singlehandedly help the Orange take down Duke in the recruiting world or on the court, but his commitment will keep SU in consideration for a top class in the conference and country.
A Blue Devils surge was inevitable, but a continued Orange push can be insurmountable to their success in 2022 and beyond. At the very least, keeping an arm’s distance between them and the biggest, baddest blue blood of them all.