It‚Äôs been a season to forget so far for Syracuse men‚Äôs basketball. The team is struggling in a variety of areas – particularly with its depth and defense – with no reinforcements on the way. The Orange have already lost nearly as many games this year (9) as they did all of last season (10) with a month of basketball left.
The Fizz has been covering SU‚Äôs relative downturn of fortune this year and what it means for the team‚Äôs construction next year. There have been rumblings about one or possibly both of the Boeheim brothers coming back, albeit with some caveats. If Jimmy or Buddy return, they‚Äôll be joined by SU‚Äôs No. 15 nationally-ranked recruiting class – the team‚Äôs best since 2015‚Äôs commit trio of Malachi Richardson, Tyler Lydon, and Frank Howard.
Next year‚Äôs class looks all well and good – even minus Kamari Lands – but it‚Äôs worth noting that it‚Äôs a class composed of five larger players more fit to be forwards or centers. Only one player, 3-star combo guard Quadir Copeland, looks to be positioned to play at a guard spot within the 2-3 zone. That position has been a seesaw for Jim Boeheim this season: he‚Äôs had to choose between rolling with a better shooting guard in Joe Girard or a better passer and defender in Symir Torrence, but each player has their weaknesses.
With the position‚Äôs needs in mind, the prospect of hauling in a talented newcomer like Aden Holloway becomes all the more exciting. It‚Äôs a name Syracuse fans should get to know.
Holloway, a 4-star Class of ‚Äò23 point guard from the La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, has held Syracuse‚Äôs attention for a few years running. Per recruiting services, Holloway received an offer from SU way back in July 2019. Obviously, the world has changed quite a bit since then, and the NCAA has introduced NIL rules that have shaken up recruiting. However, Holloway doesn‚Äôt look to be leaning one way or another at this point in the recruiting cycle. SU would be well advised to tighten up its focus on Holloway and net a boon for its backcourt.
Reviews on the 6‚Äô0‚Äù, 155-pound Holloway tab him as a versatile offensive threat. Eric Bossi, 247sports.com‚Äôs national basketball director, gave Holloway rave reviews after this weekend‚Äôs Hoophall Classic tournament .¬†
‚Äú[Holloway] is one of the craftiest players in the entire class‚Ä¶[he] can get anywhere he wants out on the floor with how low he plays to the ground‚Ä¶he also has vision and can really pass and makes shots off the catch and bounce from three.‚Äù (Eric Bossi, 1/17/22)
Skillful shot creation, the ability to drive inside for tougher chances, and intelligent passing make Holloway an exciting prospect and justify his No. 63 overall ranking in the Class of ‚Äò23. During Sunday’s tournament game, Holloway put up 14 points, four boards, three assists, and three steals in a victory. It‚Äôs easy to imagine that a few years from now, Holloway‚Äôs potential offensive prowess in a Syracuse uniform would make him a strong complement to the larger, longer, and more aggressive Quadir Copeland in ‚ÄòCuse’s backcourt.
The only question to be answered is whether SU can seal the deal against stiff competition on the recruiting trail. Holloway is being pursued by Auburn, Cincinnati, and Wake Forest, among other offers he‚Äôs already received. As things sit right now, Syracuse appears to have as good a chance as any at Holloway. With an advantageously strong Class of ‚Äò22 already in tow and a vacant list of 2023 commits, it might be time for the team to accelerate efforts on Holloway to shore up its future guard depth and generate some excitement in the midst of a dreary 2021-22 season.