Everyone in the Salt City was thrilled when Justin Taylor committed to Syracuse. Taylor, a four-star guard in the class of 2022, chose the Orange over Virginia, the school located right in his backyard. About a month and a half later, Quadir Copeland became SU’s second (technically third at that point) pledge. Taylor and Copeland are primed to be the backcourt of the future for the Orange, so they both transferred to IMG Academy this year to face higher-profile competition and learn each other’s play styles.
There’s another aspect to Taylor and Copeland’s year down in Bradenton. With almost every member of the class of 2022 committed, it’s time for Jim Boeheim and company to start looking ahead. The Orange won’t need a large class of 2023, given that a whole starting five is coming in the year prior. Instead, Boeheim should look for standout recruits and sell them on the chance to be “the guy” for SU at some point in time. IMG, a place which attracts top athletes year after year (some of which aren’t even on the 247sports rankings yet), is a great place for the Syracuse staff to start.
SU coaches are going to take trips down to the IMG campus to check up on Taylor and Copeland, but they should keep their eyes out for younger players as well. The first name Syracuse should go after is Jacoi Hutchinson. He’s a 6-foot-2 combo guard, and one of the few underclassmen on the Ascenders’ National team. Hutchinson started high school at famous DeMatha Catholic in D.C., but transferred down to IMG for his last two years of prep hoops. He already has offers from LSU, Pitt, Maryland and others.
If Joe Girard leaves after year four, Hutchinson would be a key contributor for the Orange, hopefully providing an offensive spark that has been lacking for years from SU’s reserves, or even finding a spot in the starting lineup. While recruitment should be driven by prospects and coaches, it would serve Taylor and Copeland well to convince their prep teammate to join them on the Hill.