There may be a misleading narrative out there that new Syracuse commit Peter Carey had no other elite schools interested. The 7-foot center from Massachusetts seemed to only have one other high-major offer from Rutgers, and then scholarships from A-10 schools and smaller. Carey never had a major profile on the recruiting sites, so when SU went shopping for him it appeared like the Orange were taking a massive flier. Don’t believe it.
SU was in on Carey early, but stayed on him. And midway through his recruitment plenty of other high majors noticed, even if they didn’t formally offer Carey.
Mike Waters spelled out a summer that changed around Memorial Day. In late May, he played in the Hoop Group Southern Jamfest in Virginia. Those three games changed everything. He had flown under the radar last winter because of the pandemic, as most programs had very little scouting aside from the major names. As soon as Jamfest happened, the eyes were on him.
Up to that point, Carey had flown as far under the radar as an athletic 6-foot-11 high school prospect can. The coronavirus pandemic had prevented most college coaches from seeing his development during his junior year. After the Jamfest, Carey had interest from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Creighton, California, Penn State and several other schools. But Syracuse maintained its interest.
The Orange had a staff that stayed on him most consistently, and that paid dividends. Perhaps the loss of Kamari Lands also helped fuel their chase. Either way, a recruit who Ohio State, Notre Dame and Creighton are interested in feels a lot different than how Carey has been portrayed. The Buckeyes are a Final Four contender, the Irish battle SU for kids all the time, and Creighton got a huge win this summer over SU.
Don’t think of Carey as a project who no other elite program was interested in. Look at him like a prospect plenty of good programs were considering, but SU was decisive on.