No program in the nation knows that recruiting reputation is a valuable and delicate thing better than Syracuse. The Orange went from household name and National Championship contender in 2013 to NIT loser four years later.
Now, it seems like the recruiting stream is back on the up and up. Jim Boeheim called the Class of 2022 the best he’s ever had. That’s a big deal for any year, but especially with all the hits that class took like losing Donovan Clingan, Kyle Filipkowski, and Dior Johnson, it’s an even bigger accomplishment.
However, things might have taken a turn last week when Boeheim called out Kadary Richmond, who spent just one year on the Hill before transferring to Seton Hall. While Fizz Nation was angry at Boeheim for Richmond’s limited playing time in relief of the struggling makeshift point guard Joe Girard last season, Boeheim pointed a finger at the then-freshman.
“Kadary never worked hard at the game. He never had coming in, and didn’t work hard last year. He played 21 minutes a game, and that’s really all about he could play. He was hurt a lot. Had a lot of setbacks. Joe was more consistent,” Boeheim said. “Seton Hall, they have five guards. So, we’ll see how many minutes he’s going to play there.”
The fallout from Boeheim’s comment was pretty dramatic. On top of Boeheim later saying that Richmond and Girard are equitable defenders, which Syracuse fans widely disagree with, many were unhappy with the way Boeheim conducted himself. The question plastered all over Twitter became why Boeheim feels the need to go after a player no longer on his roster. The follow up is how this will affect recruiting.
Boeheim is less than a month out from his 77th birthday. To say he’s old school might be an understatement. That might be part of the reason the Orange missed out on past recruits. It’s not easy for a 76 year old to relate to 17 and 18 year olds. That being said, Boeheim is the same age and has the same reputation that he did when Justin Taylor, Chris Bunch, Quadir Copeland, Maliq Brown, and Peter Carey committed to SU. The young players coming in know what they’re getting themselves into. Odds are they’ve all seen or heard about what Boeheim said. That’s alright, as long as they’re still running with the Orange.
Having one of the oldest coaches in the sport, and the longest tenured in the conference, comes with its perks and baggage. The age and old-school style is either a deterrent or the Hall of Fame status is a draw to high school prospects. No amount of postpartum beef between Boeheim and a transferred freshman is going to change that.