Orange Fizz – Daily Syracuse Recruiting News & Team Coverage

BB Recruiting

Should Syracuse Target a Player Already On Its Radar?

The Osceola

Amidst all the hype surrounding the 2022 recruiting class, and rightfully so, with two four-star and a trio of three-star recruits, Syracuse fans should keep an eye out for players entering their name into the transfer portal (yes, already). It proved successful last season, bringing in two starters in Jimmy Boeheim and Cole Swider, as well as Symir Torrence, who impressed in the latter stages of the season and should expect an expanded role in the offense next year. The transfer portal has the opportunity to filter in experience, which is much needed, considering the new youth that’s taking over the identity of this Syracuse program.

One name that is already enticing out of the portal is former SU recruit, and Henninger high school alum, Quincy Ballard. The Syracuse native finds himself right back in a decision-oriented spot one season after picking Florida State over ‘Cuse, NC State, Maryland and Cincinnati. The fact Ballard considered the Orange is already a major step up for a team that was as subpar as could be last season. His interest eliminates a rooting interest in how the team has recently performed and places more of a stamp on the relationship he has already built with the coaching staff.

But prior to breaking down the chances of this happening or diving into what Ballard brings to next year’s team, let’s explore who Quincy is as a player.

The 7-footer is a low-post machine. He knows his role and executes it with precise footwork and poise near the tin. Ballard’s ability to score with both hands in a smooth manner shows his comfortability even when hounded from down low, and double teamed from a help defender at the post. It’s an aspect of Syracuse basketball that lacks, beyond the improved play of Jesse Edwards, but even the Dutchman has yet to incorporate the low post moves that Ballard has in his arsenal. Plus, his defense is suffocating. For those who are willing to attempt to drive on the 7-footer, their shot is immediately disjointed because of Ballard’s presence. Instead of an aggressive move to the rack, guards will often opt for a lower-percentage floater or passing it out of the paint.

I understand the gripe that he’d take away playing time from Edwards, but for a 250-pound body is never a negative for a program that’s continually failed to land centers who dominate on both ends of the floor, and can assert his physical presence against the bigger bodies in the conference.

But the same argument about Ballard clogging up a deep center room is exactly why the chances he returns home are slim. That’s not saying Frank Anselem, John Bol Ajak and Peter Carey are necessarily better than Ballard, but with the knowledge that Jesse Edwards has all but solidified his starting role next season, Quincy’s role is either as a backup or developmental under Jim Boeheim’s wing. The reason that level of contribution wouldn’t appease Ballard is he has already shown that with minimal playing time, he is willing to transfer at the blink of an eye. At FSU, the 7-footer played under five minutes per contest, and only saw the floor for over ten minutes in one game (coincidentally against Syracuse).

The appeal for the Orange is there, and the relationships are as well, but when it comes to Ballard’s decision, there is little reason to believe that he’d choose against his hometown team the first time when the grouping of centers was poorer, but go all in for the Orange when the “5” position is so loaded. But then again, Symir Torrence did the exact same thing, so it’s not 100% out of the conversation.

When evaluating Ballard, it ultimately comes down to whether he is willing to sustain a role as Edwards’ backup (at the very best) and sees potential in the growing youth entering the Hill next season. If that’s not appealing, then there are plenty of other landing spots that would be more than willing to house a 7-foot freak of nature that features controlled and crafty footwork on offense, as well as a fear factor on the defensive end.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top