In front of a large crowd at Blue Ridge HS in Virginia, 3-star recruit Maliq Brown chose Syracuse to add more firepower to the Class of ’22. He’s been lauded for his 7-foot wingspan and elite defensive ability. The Orange staff has already discussed with him how he’ll defend on the wing in the 2-3 zone. It looks like the familiarity and friendship with AAU teammate Justin Taylor was a big benefit.
Back in April, the thoughts of a Taylor/Brown combo package to Syracuse began to percolate. Before either of them had committed anywhere, Brown’s coach Brad Lemcke drew the connection. “They don’t have to play together by any stretch of the imaginations,” Lemcke said at the time. “But I think if one of them decides on a school, I think that would be helpful for the other one. They played together on the AAU side back when they were ninth graders, and they really enjoyed playing together.”
Over the summer sharphooter Taylor did commit to SU, and then the action really heated up. Kamari Lands decommitted. Syracuse lost some huge targets like Kyle Filipowski and this week JJ Starling. But the potential for Brown to join his pal on the Hill remained. Brown has swung between a 3 and 4-star prospect. Most recently he’s been tabbed a 3-star, the #7 prospect in his home state of Virginia.
Brown had Syracuse among his five finalists, including Virginia Tech, Georgetown, NC State and Penn State. The Fizz broke down the situations at all of his finalists. Brown has openly discussed how much he likes playing with Taylor, and also had praise for Quadir Copeland too.
“I don’t think they’re going to make a decision together, but I could see if one of them makes a decision before the other one, that school could be helped by that player in terms of convincing the other one to come on board as well,” Lemcke said in April.
With a potentially elite defender, a play-making point in Copeland, a deep threat in Taylor, and a speedy big in Carey, the Orange Class of ’22 has a little bit of everything. While the top end 4-star recruit has remained elusive for the Orange, there’s serious depth now with this class. The Orange staff has done a really good job rebounding after the loss of Lands, and solidifying the class. Chris Bunch will continue to be a target for plenty of SU fans, but we’ll see if Brown’s affects that. In a day and age of active transfer portals, you can never stack too much talent. The Orange grabbed more of it today, and that’s an exciting thing for the Orange faithful.