Welcome back to the wishlist, and hopefully a good omen into recruiting classes moving forward for Syracuse basketball. It’ll be hard to top the 2022 class but these players coming to Central New York can add a layer to the ’22 group that establishes the Orange as a clear threat moving forward. That starts and ends with growing potential, realistic expectations and a player who can fit Jim Boeheim’s system. With all that in mind, that leads Fizz nation to 6’7″ small forward Gavin Griffiths.
The Connecticut native is an ideal fit in Syracuse for a multitude of reasons. Being a junior, and at his height, continual growth is possible which could slot the four-star around 6’8″-6’9″. that threshold is great for how Boeheim’s zone has adjusted this past year, working in taller wings like Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider. Griffiths’s length is a huge factor why fans of the Orange should wish that he stays in the northeast.
On that of that, Griffiths is a fearless competitor. His high school head coaches have lauded about his ability to both handle and strive when pressure is at an all-time high, which is a position most SU fans have been accustomed to seeing with the caliber of Syracuse and its opponents as of late. This is an innate trait that not many younger player shave, but one that Griffiths developed early in his career and can only grow upon in his junior and senior seasons. That coupled with him being a year old than his class adds an extra layer of experience and maturity to his game.
It also helps to have “3” guard that can shoot the ball and attack the rim. The ability to do both rivals many guards and forwards at Syracuse who are considered predictable and one dimensional. It’s a tool that Boeheim, and whoever his successor is, can take advantage of when setting up the offense. Griffiths is similar in play style to a mix of Benny Williams off the dribble and Buddy Boeheim shooting the ball.
The four-star’s stature is a concern, weighing in at only 185 pounds, but that is a place to pinpoint possible growth and is only a downside on defense. Between the Connecticut native’s offensive prowess and ability to get to the rim despite pressure on his shoulders, Syracuse should put the unrealistic five stars to the side and bet on the growth of Griffiths.
So far, the current junior in high school has 15 offers according to rivals.com, with the Orange being the only ACC school in the mix. SU offered Griffiths early in his recruiting cycle and since then, the four star’s stock has skyrocketed to the tune of offers from Iowa, UConn, Rutgers, Maryland and Kansas State to name a few. That includes unofficial visits to UConn and Rutgers in the latter half of 2021, and an official visit in October of last year to Iowa.
Wherever Griffiths ends up, Syracuse better do its due diligence in order to have its name in the running for this talented prospect. If you’ve missed any of our 2023 wishlist, make sure to catch up below.