As Syracuse looks to bolster the Class of ’22 after Kamari Lands decommitted, this weekend holds plenty of potential. Two of SU’s highest profile targets will visit the Hill, big man Peter Carey and wing Chris Bunch. Carey only has one other high-major school with an offer to him, but SU seems to be doing extremely well in this race.
In July, his AAU coach Jesse Shapiro told Mike McAllister, “The Director of New York Lightning, Shandue McNeill, is good friends with one of the assistant coaches at Syracuse, so he mentioned it to him. They’ve been on him ever since. Coach Autry’s the man and they really like what he has the capabilities of doing down the road.”
How thrilled was Carey to get the offer from SU? “It was priceless. He’s walking on the moon now. I’ve spoke a few times since we were able to make it public, he’s thrilled. I told him there’s going to be a bullseye on your back now. You better be ready for it.”
So let’s rank the competition for a player who is getting better by the day and is a defensive standout perfectly tailored for the 2-3 zone.
Steve Pikiell recently visited Carey at his prep school. Rutgers has been reborn under the 6th year head coach, and in March made the tourney as a 10-seed. Rutgers had an exciting run in the tourney, and eventually exited in the second round. But the season was a benchmark campaign after going 16-12 and returning to the Big Dance for the first time in 30 years. No doubt, this is an intriguing offer for Carey. It’s by far SU’s stiffest competition for the 6’11” center from Sunderland, Ma.
In Rick Pitino’s first season in New Rochelle the Gaels made the tourney out of the MAAC. Obviously he still brings plenty of cache on the recruiting circuit, and will get the most out of his team no matter how duplicitous he is. The Gaels have been a perennial tourney team over the last decade and are a very good mid-major option for Carey.
3. St. Bonaventure
The Bonnies are one of the premier mid-majors on the East Coast, annually making runs at the tourney from the A-10. Mark Schmidt has been there for 15 years, so consistency is a huge selling point. After going 16-5, many picked the Bonnies to make a run in March but they lost in the first round to LSU. This a very good program looking at Carey.
The A-10 is an excellent hoops league, but the Minutemen haven’t had a winning season in 7 years. This only makes sense if Carey desperately wants to stay in Massachussetts.
The Ivy League went on pause last year, and the Bears are a middle of the pack team in the conference. But Brown gives Carey his best education on the list and keeps him in New England.
Will Brown had made the Danes into one of the best teams in the America East, but now it’s Dwayne Killings team. Brown led the Danes to 5 Big Dance appearances but left after his contract expired, so it would be tough for a new coach to land a player with high-major offers.
The Bulldogs are actually coming off their best season in years, but a 2nd place finish in the NEC only netted them a CBI bid last year. Young head coach Jared Grasso is destined for a bigger job, but he’s playing catchup behind every other team on this list.