This summer’s recruiting scene is on record as one of the most hectic in Syracuse basketball history.
It all started last year when five-star point guard Dior Johnson committed to the Orange out of the blue. It was subsequently followed by a rather quick decommitment, which got the ball rolling. Kamari Lands replicated that act earlier this year. While good news flowed over the summer in the form of Justin Taylor, Quadir Copeland, and Peter Carey (as of recent).
But the frantic nature of the 2022 class doesn’t end for a while. So, who could be next? How about we start with a player that just visited the 315 over the weekend, three-star Maliq Brown.
Brown mimics what Lands would have contributed to Syracuse. He’s a 6-foot-9 power forward, and what separates him from the former five-star SU commit, is his 210-pound frame. The Virginia native is a perfect size to athletically dominate the “4” spot on any court. It shows in his highlights.
The SU recruit passes well for his size and his stature allows him to break out in transition. Brown embodies a more polished version of a young Marek Dolezaj on both ends of the floor.
But what stands out the most with the three-star is his smothering defense. Whether it’s stretching to the perimeter or denying drives into the land, Brown anticipates plays that happen with the best of them. It’s evident because his blocks are both impressive and timed really well. Most big men at Brown’s height struggle to utilize their length, but the Virginia native takes full advantage of it.
The video above gives insight to a huge part of SU’s recruiting pitch. Brown plays the 2-3 zone at Blue Ridge High School, which translates perfectly to the system in place in Central New York. In fact, according to Sport Illustrated, he spoke with assistant coach Gerry McNamara, who laid out a game plan with Brown manning the wing of the zone. The 6-foot-9 power forward is already used to the defensive scheme and would know his role, swallowing up rebounds and setting up pick and rolls, on the offensive side. It sounds like a perfect match.
On Brown’s visit, he said everything an SU fan wants to hear:
“It was a really good atmosphere and was fun to be around… [Hanging out with the current team] made me feel like I was at home… [The students and fans] were very welcoming” – Maliq Brown to SI’s Mike McAllister
Brown even holds a connection with Syracuse as he and 2022 commit Justin Taylor have played together since they were young. The power forward recruit also reflected on his time playing in the camps with Copeland. The ties are there, but so are his other offers. Brown’s suitors include Georgetown, NC State, Penn State, St. John’s, TCU, Texas A&M, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and several others.
Although he has yet to announce his committment date, keep your eye on Brown because wherever he chooses to go, a boatload of potential tags along.