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Boeheim Says ’22 Class Is “Best He’s Ever Had” Let’s Take A Look

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Syracuse has a murderer’s row of recruits rolling through in 2022. Most recently, 4-star forward Chris Bunch rounded out the 5 players that will join the program next season, as of right now they’re ranked as the 10th class in the country, 4th in the ACC:

At Syracuse Basketball media day last Friday, Jim Boeheim claimed the ‘22 class is, “The best recruiting class we’ve ever had.” Immediately SU fans and media alike raised eyebrows.

That’s a bold claim. There have been some great basketball players to walk the streets of Syracuse, let’s take a look back in time and compare the ‘22 class to some that might rival it:

* = NBA Career

2002

F – Carmelo Anthony* (#1 ESPN)

G – Gerry McNamara (#71 ESPN)

G – Billy Edelin

This is one that probably shoots into the minds of SU fans fairly quickly. As Boeheim said, this team proved freshmen could win a national championship. Carmelo Anthony was the greatest one and done of all time, and Gerry McNamara was one of the greatest shooters college basketball has ever had the privilege of witnessing. Carmelo was out the door after the ‘03 season, but that shouldn’t take anything away from this class. They won SU’s only national championship, objectively they are up there.

2010

C – Fab Melo* (#14 ESPN)

G – Dion Waiters* (#15 ESPN)

F – C.J. Fair (#63 ESPN)

C – Baye Moussa Keita

Syracuse brought in 3 absolute STUDS in 2010. Fab Melo threw a block party every time he was on the court and was a threat to catch a  lob no matter how far away the ball handler was. Neon Dion was arguably the greatest college basketball player who never started a game. Waiters could shoot it from anywhere, the future NBA champ scored over 12 off the bench for the Orange his sophomore season. C.J. Fair was a fan favorite thanks to his explosive finishing and heart he showcased every time out. Rodney Hood’s feet were not planted. Their sophomore season, these guys helped the Orange reach the Final Four, finishing the season 34-3.

1986

F – Derrick Coleman*

G – Stephen Thompson*

G – Matt Roe

F – Keith Hughes

Derrick Coleman continues to be the only Syracuse alum to go #1 overall in the NBA draft. The accolades for D.C. are a mouthful. 4x All Big-East, Consensus All-American, 1989-90 Big East POY, NCAA All-Tournament, and many more. Coleman is indisputably one of the greatest talents to come through the salt city. Though he’s not the only one with numerous accolades from this class. Stephen Thompson seems to be a name that gets forgotten in the grand scheme of all things SU basketball. Thompson was a great player, 2x All-Big East, and 2x All-Big East Tournament. He averaged up near 20 points in his final 2 seasons on the hill, helping Syracuse to deep tournament runs 3 out 4 years with the team. 

2007

F – Donte Greene* (#17 ESPN)

G – Jonny Flynn* (#23 ESPN)

G – Scoop Jardine (#48 ESPN)

F – Rick Jackson (#51 ESPN)

C – Sean Williams

F – Kristof Ongenaet

Jonny Flynn is arguably the most exciting player Syracuse has ever had. Listed 6-0 (looked more like 5-8), Flynn was willing to attempt a dunk over anyone and converted pretty often. The Niagara Falls native made an immediate impact in Orange threads, scoring more than 15 ppg his freshman season. Donte Greene was great that season as well, the 6-11 forward scored over 17 ppg, and earned All-Big East honors in his only season with Syracuse. Those two, while fun to watch, were gone pretty quickly. Not the same story with Scoop Jardine. Scoop was certainly a fan favorite, having played 4 years in Syracuse. He was undoubtedly a leader for the Orange and one that Boeheim counted on plenty. Similarly, Rick Jackson stuck it out to the very end at SU. Jackson didn’t reach his full potential until his senior year, the 6-9 240 lb forward was showered with accolades in 2011, including All-Big East, All-Big East Tournament, and Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

There’s some serious firepower on this list. Do you think it compares with the 2022 class that Boeheim claims is, “The best we’ve ever had” ? Let us know on Twitter @OrangeFizz.

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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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