It’s apparent what Syracuse fans continue to vie for: Joe Girard to revert to his stellar play in high school, a recruiting class without a decomitment and a center who elicits a cascade of cheers. SU is best at going 0-for-3 on that wishlist, and can never find a way to fulfill the third.
With that in mind, it’s time to lower expectations of what Boeheim and company can muster up in the center department. The acquisitions of Bourama Sidibe, Jesse Edwards, John Bol Ajak and Frank Anselem have proven the subpar abilities of SU big men. So stop expecting a 7-foot-3 Goliath to stomp all over the ACC. Instead, it’s about compiling depth.
That’s where SU 2022 recruit Peter Carey enters the conversation, with his official visit starting tomorrow.
Is he the most skilled big man in the class? No, he’s far from it. But can he learn the system and develop into the college system over time? Yeah, that’s the goal.
The hope is Carey comes to Syracuse and is a diamond in the rough. The 7-foot Massachusetts native entered the recruiting portal as under-rated and unknown outside of his inner northeast circle. That still elicited offers from St. Bonaventure, Rutgers, Iona, UMass, Bryant, Brown and Albany. So there’s enough consideration to treat him like any other developmental recruit.
He’ll have to put on weight, but his role as a true center benefits SU greatly. In recent times, SU’s centers have been multi-dimensional, taking away from much needed aspects of their game. If Carey embodies a two-dimensional playing style of protecting the paint and rebounding, then Syracuse has the large presence inside it so desperately needs.
Associate Head Coach Adrian Autry is familiar with Carey’s play too. Autry has visited the Northfield Mount Hermon senior multiple times. Plus, the 7-footer attended the Orange’s annual elite camp in front of the entire coaching staff, a level of familiarity with plenty of upside.
This is not a plea for Orange fans to treat Carey like the next coming of Hakim Warrick. It’s an ask for Fizz Nation and everyone few and far between to expect the Carey’s of the world to commit to Central New York, and to bank on potential, because it’s there.