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Will Maliq Brown’s Friendship with Justin Taylor Make the Difference for SU?

The Class of ’22 already has solid talent from top to bottom for Syracuse. Sharpshooter Justin Taylor can bomb from downtown. Gritty guard Quadir Copeland can find the open man. Big man Peter Carey can run the floor and has big upside. And maybe there’s more to come?

The Fizz has already documented Chris Bunch, a 6’7″ swingman that has the Orange in his final three. CNY product JJ Starling also had SU in his final five. But keep an eye on power forward Maliq Brown. He’s taken a visit to the Hill, and has Georgetown, NC State, Penn State, St. John’s, TCU, Texas A&M, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and several others courting him.

But the ace card for the Orange might be his friendship with Taylor. He told Mike McAllister about the bond they share since they were young.

“Me and Justin have played together for a while. I don’t know how young, but we were really young when we first started playing together. I like playing with Justin. He’s a very good player, very underrated. He’s a really good player. I have played with Quadir Copeland over the summer at one of these camps I went to. It was really good playing with him too.” – Maliq Brown

Back in April we wrote about how their AAU coach think they could be a package deal.

“They don’t have to play together by any stretch of the imaginations. 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.” – Cade Lemcke, Blue Ridge head coach

That can only be a good thing for the Orange. Brown has already raved about the coaching staff and said he enjoyed seeing the Dome and the Melo Center. Students on campus also recognized him and gave him the sales pitch. (Nice job, student body.) But Brown having a former teammate already committed to the Orange is big. Taylor never wavered despite the decommitment of Kamari Lands, so knowing he’s firmly entrenched as an Orange should give the program optimism he’ll be an advantage in getting a good shot at Brown.

The composition of the class also lends itself to Brown being a nice fit. The Orange have both guards and a center already coming in. There’s a spot in the freshman class for power forward. Now we’ll see if Brown will be that player. The staff talked to him about “controlling the ball” a little more than a traditional 4, so that could also be a good sign Brown sees an exciting future with the Orange.

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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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