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The Strange Saga of Zion Cruz is the Last Big Mystery in the Class of ’22

Appropriately, Zion Cruz is the last great mystery for the Class of ’22. For months we’ve documented the many twists and turns of his recruitment. Syracuse was high on him early, and he seemed like the perfect Orange point guard. He’s a gritty floor general with the flare for the dramatic who was born and raised just outside New York City. He appeared to be a throwback to the old Big East.

But SU seemed to fade away in his recruitment, and as every other top player committed over the fall, Cruz is still undecided. According to 247 player rankings, Cruz is the highest rated player in his class without a heavy favorite to land him. In fact, out of the top 30 recruits only three haven’t committed.

9th ranked Yohan Traore has 100% projection to Memphis, although Kentucky is rumored to be a factor. And #24 Anthony Black is heavily shaded toward Oklahoma State. But when it comes to Cruz, it’s anybody’s guess. Right now 247 has it as a 50/50 race between Memphis and Auburn, but Georgia has made a late surge.

How could it be any other way? Since the beginning Cruz has ducked in and out of expectations like dribbling through the lane. Auburn was the heavy front-runner over the summer, and the Tigers had clearly set themselves apart according to Cruz. But Hubert Davis and UNC got involved, and Cruz called the Tar Heels “a dream school.” In September, there was another hairpin turn when Cruz re-opened his recruitment.

That’s when Memphis really took hold as a contender for Cruz. Recently, it appeared Auburn and Memphis would duke it out. But like any great mystery movie, there had to be plot twists at the end. Out of nowhere Georgia overtook Auburn as the SEC school of choice, and Cruz decided to transfer to Donda Academy in California for his senior season.

What is the Donda Academy? Oh that little outfit is the star-studded basketball program that Kanye West has funded. Yeezy has attracted some of the biggest recruits to his program. And this is just another stop for the wandering Cruz, who has attended attended Hudson (N.J.) Catholic¬†and famed Oak Hill Academy, along with the Patrick School in Jersey City. Interestingly, Cruz left Oak Hill just two days after former Syracuse commit Dior Johnson did as well. It’s a lot to digest.

Cruz plans to make his decision in later December. So if you’re keeping score at home, Cruz is choosing between Memphis, Georgia, and the G-League in the following weeks, while attending Kanye West’s school, the fourth of his career. Never a dull moment.

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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