The five 2022 commits are officially Orange. That’s exciting when taking into account the amount of talented recruits that have decommitted in the last couple years. So, for those not all that familiar with the skillsets of each new commit, and to tie those new faces to the season on hand, let’s compare SU’s ‘22 class to players on this year’s team.
Justin Taylor → Buddy Boeheim
Other than the fact that many regard the two as twins…
Taylor’s game mirrors Boeheim’s to a “T”. Both are 6’6” shooting guards who are known for lighting it up from beyond the arc and can create their own shot off the dribble. The two sharpshooters also find ways to locate open space on the offensive end. That doesn’t take away from their tough shotmaking ability with a hand in their face.
It also helps that the Virginia and New York native are so good at shooting the ball because often times defenders are so honed in on them, that it opens up shots elsewhere and cuts down on help defense
Taylor and Boeheim do need to improve on the defensive end, but both utilize their length well. This isn’t a prediction that Taylor will be the next great sharpshooter in the ACC, or even that he can replace the void Boeheim leaves behind, but it’s a good omen heading into future seasons.
Copeland might be a better shot maker than Torrence, but the two are quite similar in how they analyze the game. With such IQs, Torrence and Copeland can break down a defense before it’s even set up and have the ability to weave through open gaps.
The three-star’s future role is most likely similar to Torrence’s as well with the high probability that Joe Girard returns to man the point next season. It’s yet to be seen if Copeland can be an efficient shooter at the next level, but the competition he’ll face at IMG academy will for sure force him to make an effort in the shooting department.
Chris Bunch → Benny Williams
Aside from being the highest ranked player in the recruiting class, Bunch’s athleticism matches what we’ve seen from Williams thus far. The two are similar in how they attack the hoop, and provide quite the presence on the defensive end.
The stark difference between Bunch and Williams is shot efficiency. Based off tape, Bunch is a much better three-point shooter and prefers behind the arc, rather than pull-up jumpers from the interior.
These players enter (or entered) with high expectations and it’s up to Bunch in 2022 and Williams this season to incorporate an unknown spark and play in an X-factor role. It has yet to be seen whether they play with each other next year, or Williams leaves after his freshman campaign, but either way, SU is loaded in the youth athleticism department.
Peter Carey → Frank Anselem
From a ceiling standpoint, Carey could reach the level Anselem is climbing toward. Both are up and coming centers who still have to prove a whole lot in ACC competition in order to garner more recognition. Anselem graduated high school as a high-level recruit, while Carey was unranked when committing, and that’s the main difference.
However, Carey and Anselem are developmental in similar ways. The pair spends most of their time in the paint and have to adapt to the larger sized centers in order to reach their highest potential.
Maliq Brown → ???
This is a complete unknown. Syracuse is without a set-in-stone power forward, who doesn’t stretch the floor, and makes a large impact on the boards instead. The closest comparison is John Bol Ajak, but Brown’s talent and capabilities span far beyond Ajak’s development.
Brown is a player who the Orange should ooze with excitement over because it’s been a while since someone of his skillset has landed in CNY. Beyond this year, there’s a large chance that Marek Dolezaj and he play similarly in a Jim Boeheim system that prioritizes shooting the ball.
There’s plenty of potential amongst the ‘22 class, with a true ceiling of “the best recruiting class” during Boeheim’s tenure. But again, time will tell as these five players establish their own identities and try to fit into a system that this year’s group is still trying to develop.