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Diamond in the Rough – Syracuse Offers 2023 Center Ugonna Kingsley

After a disappointing season, Syracuse basketball has to hit the reset button. The Orange are bringing in one of their best recruiting classes in program history next season. Plus, they are beginning to dabble in the class of 2023, most recently offering a guy that could be a diamond in the rough.

Last Thursday, Jim Boeheim and company extended a scholarship offer to Ugonna Kingsley.

The center is listed at 7-foot, 195 lbs. He’s from Putnam, CT and currently attends Putnam Science Academy, a school that churns out Division I talent and even NBA-caliber guys. Kingsley doesn’t have a recruiting ranking on 247Sports right now, but he’s listed as a 2-star by Rivals. 

Syracuse is the ninth team to offer Kingsley. The others include Clemson, Georgetown, Georgia, Ole Miss, Providence, Seton Hall, Texas Tech and Washington State. The offer list isn’t crazy long or super impressive, but there are quite a few high major schools. Plus, the majority of these offers have come in recent weeks. Kingsley is just beginning to be discovered and will most likely continue to garner more and more attention.

“Colleges always talk about his rim protection,” Putnam Academy Assistant Coach Dana Valentine said in an interview with 247Sports. “He can protect the rim at the next level. His touch is great, he’s a quick learner, and they can see him picking up the speed of the game very quickly. He’s an elite rim protector so that’s something that coaches think translates immediately.”

Kingsley is solid. and will continue to grow and develop, but at this moment, he does not seem like a plug and play guy. He will need some more time to improve and work on his game. He is long, but he’s lanky. Kingsley is very similar to past SU centers like Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe. He’s not the strong center that everyone wants Syracuse to recruit, but he could very well follow the Jesse Edwards path – play the reserve role for a couple years, bulk up, then get your chance junior or senior year.

Despite Kingsley’s need for more time, he does fill a void Syracuse has. The Orange are adding a bunch of wings in the class of 2022 and have offers out to a ton of guards in the class of 2023. SU is thin in the center position, especially once Edwards and Frank Anselem graduate. So, going for hidden, but high upside guys like Kingsley could pay off in the long run.

Ugonna Kingsley is not the answer to all of Syracuse’s problems, but he could be a diamond in the rough that helps the Orange down the road.

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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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