When trying to compile more names to Syracuse’s 2023 recruiting wishlist, the amount of options were thin. It can be attributed to how far out the ’23 class is for a number of recruits choosing for or against the 315, but also to how strong the ’22 class is. According to 247 Sports, Syracuse sports the 15th best recruiting bundle in 2022. A reminder that the commits include four-stars Chris Bunch and Justin Taylor, as well as three-stars Quadir Copeland, Maliq Brown and Peter Carey.
The argument that such a strong class the year before thwarts SU’s recruiting chips moving forward is not a bad one. Entering 2021, the Orange had one commit, albeit a four-to-five-star in Benny Williams. But that opened the flood gates for transfers and returners to snatch most of the playing time. While simultaneously creaking the door open for recruits to see Syracuse as a destination where they’d play right away.
With the inevitable departures of the Boeheim brothers, and the future of Cole Swider up in the air, with one year of eligibility left after this season, recruits are more privy to commit because Central New York becomes of place of instant development rather than prolonged development. A few of the five 2022 commits are coming to Syracuse with the intention of starting right away.
Although a weak 2021 class set up a vibrant 2022 room, the stigma around Syracuse mixed with the ’22 class as a whole has weakened what could possibly spur from the landscape of ’23 players.
The stigma surrounds the lack of one-and-done’s from Syracuse. Ever since the days of Chris McCullough, Malachi Richardson and Tyler Ennis, SU isn’t a customary spot for temporary collegiate superstars. Instead, the Orange have built an identity of developing northeast talent over time (i.e. Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard, Quincy Guerrier, Marek Dolezaj). Although Guerrier chose to transfer, Syracuse’s goal is the establish him, and the rest of its players, as SU staples. This helps with recruiting because it creates a familial environment. But in regards to future classes, all it takes is one deep class, and the rest of the future suffers.
It’s clear with the direction that highly-ranked 2023 recruits are leaning toward. Five stars like Justin Edwards, G.G. Jackson, Simeon Wilcher and Elijah Fisher are already veering toward blue bloods (Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina) according to 247 Sports. With playing pro in Australia in the NBL, or heading to the NBA G-League, and even a chance in the near future to forgo buffer options and go straight to the NBA from high school, as possible opportunities, the intrigue to establish oneself in a college program is as outdated as Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone.
The evidence is even clearer that the ’23 class will directly suffer, due to the impact that 2020 had on 2021. After the Orange garnered five high level recruits to play in CNY in ’20, the result was only one commitment (Benny Williams) for the ’21 year.
So make sure to continue to celebrate Syracuse’s top 15 ’22 recruiting class in the nation, but don’t wonder why the Orange are substantially less successful in 2023.