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2023 Syracuse Wishlist: Jacoi Hutchinson

Jacoi Hutchinson

When scouring the web to delineate who Syracuse has shown interest in in the 2023 class, there are plenty of names that stand out. Of course the four 5-stars the Orange are eyeing, and a numerous amount of high level 4-stars, but if we at Fizz do a reality check, most of these players are stretches to land in Central New York.

So why not look lower on the list, but still pick out a talented guard with a whole lot of potential, and close-knit connections to the 315. Although Syracuse hasn’t officially offered him yet, this low level 4-star can materialize as a sneaky grab for the Cuse. It’s 6’2, 165-pound IMG Academy shooting guard Jacoi Hutchinson.

The first angle to take in regards to Hutchinson has nothing to do with his play and everything to do with his allegiance. As an IMG Academy player, he’ll spend time with both Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland, who will not only garner a relationship with the Maryland native, but can influence Hutchinson’s recruiting trail down the line. This is a chess-like move that both SU commits have already factored in when deciding to play together this past fall.

It also helps that Hutchinson is a legit baller, whose ability spans much further than running the point. Although he’s small in stature, the 4-star attacks the rim with intent and disregard for those trying to block his shot. Hutchinson shifty and fast which allows him to penetrate the paint on the transition and get around his defender.

If the Orange have been missing an integral piece, look no further than a guard who can attack and kick out to shooters with ease, or in basketball terms, a “get-by” guy (someone who’s able to get by his defender in order to create off downhill movement). Hutchinson provides that weapon and does it with an IQ that many young players don’t embody. Although 247 Sports ranks him as a 3-star, his composite ranking reads four stars, leaving him as a borderline top 130 player in his class, with plenty of potential due to his quickness and decision making.

Although the video above is from his sophomore year, it shows the speed, athleticism and IQ he brings to the court on a daily basis. That, coupled with how much Hutchinson has improved over the past year, is not only enough to get looks from SU, but hopefully an offer soon enough. The Maryland native is a year of collegiate experience away from mirroring Symir Torrence, due to his quickness on both ends of the floor and his willingness to run the offense (even as a SG) for others.

Another bargaining chip for Syracuse to offer Hutchinson is the lack of competition there are from other schools. According to 247 Sports, the 6’2 guard has interest from Bryant, LSU, George Washington, Maryland, Pittsburgh, St. Joseph’s College and Virginia Tech. If Syracuse was added to the mix, with Taylor and Copeland’s influence, Hutchinson’s chances of landing in the Salt City would be higher than any other 2023 recruit to date.

This isn’t an endorsement for SU to shoot low, but it is a plea for the Orange to target role players with a lot of potential, especially with how active the transfer portal is in college basketball (because any of next year’s recruits could experience the Benny Williams treatment and play a minimal amount of time) and how stacked the 2022 Syracuse recruiting class is (most of next year’s newcomers will play more and thus, snatch a majority of the playing time in 2023).

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