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What Does Jesse Edwards’ Recent Play Mean For Recruiting Bigs?

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It seems that Jesse Edwards has finally come out of his shell this season. The Flying Dutchman had a reputation for having a lack of confidence and resembling a deer in headlights in big moments coming into this year. No more though, Edwards has put on some pretty incredible performances thus far in the 2021-22 campaign. Down at the Battle 4 Atlantis, Edwards achieved a career-high in points (21), surpassing 20 for the first time in his career. It seems like the big has become what seemingly everyone had hoped for; a center with offensive capability. That’s something Syracuse hasn’t had since Rakeem Christmas back in 2014-15. Against Florida State last time out, Edwards also reached a career-high in rebounds (12), while also marking the first double-double of his career. 

There’s no questioning Edwards’ impact thus far, but can he keep it going? Absolutely.

The ACC isn’t all that strong this season, aside from Duke, UNC, and Wake Forest, no team has been all that impressive. Besides, Edwards already faced a pretty big test in Auburn’s Walker Kessler. At 7-1, Kessler will be one of the longest bigs Edwards will match up with all season long. Didn’t seem to matter to the SU center, Edwards went to work despite his opponent, scoring 17 points on a near-perfect 7/8 from the floor. Expect him to keep it up, Syracuse needs his offense and he seems keen on providing it.

There’s been talk for a looong time about how Jim Boeheim and Syracuse as a whole isn’t an optimal landing spot for centers. Whether people think that because of having to earn a different defense or because they think Boeheim doesn’t like using bigs in his offensive scheme, that’s been the conversation. If he keeps it up, Edwards has a chance to put silence to those critics, and maybe, it changes things in recruiting. 

Isaiah Stewart now infamously de-committed from SU 15 minutes before his announcement, instead choosing Mike Hopkins and Washington, Darius Bazely became a trailblazer, choosing not to take the traditional college route to the NBA. The Orange have been without a dominant big recruit for quite some time. Edwards play has a chance to change that. If he’s able to average up around 15-17 points per game, that’ll show prospective centers that Syracuse actually can be the place to be if looking to develop an offensive game. So while you’re watching everyone’s favorite dutch big dominate on the offensive end this year, know that his play can and will lead to future success.

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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