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BB Recruiting

An Early Look At SU’s Class of 2023 Center Targets

Credit @twinvizuals (Instagram)

With Syracuse men’s hoops’ Class of 2022 recruiting class all but set in stone, we’ve already begun to think about what SU’s starting five will look like as next season gets under way. With several players in the mix for a limited number of positions Рsuch as sophomore Benny Williams and two freshmen vying for a pair of vacated spots at forward Рit’s anyone’s guess as to how Jim Boeheim will structure his roster. There’s only so many roles on the team already occupied, but the one ‘Cuse fans might feel the best about is at center, where senior Jesse Edwards will start from day one.

Edwards‚Äô leap from wobbly freshman benchwarmer to bonafide junior-year talent was certainly impressive last year. Edwards averaged 12.0 points, 3.5 total boards, and nearly three blocks per game before an injury cost him the final nine games of the year. His skill and improvement last season finally brings comfort to a position that has fallen on hard times since Rakeem Christmas departed following the 2014-15 season. Since then, SU has recruited just one 4-star center (Taurean Thompson in the Class of ‚Äò16), and several other recruits haven‚Äôt panned out. Frank Anselem’s recent transfer has only further thinned a pivotal position in SU’s 2-3 zone.

With those struggles in mind, it’s important that SU begins looking hard for more talented depth at the position. Peter Carey in the Class of ‘22 is a good start, but Syracuse is already paying attention to and offered a couple big men in the Class of ‘23.

Isaiah Miranda (4-star, Commonwealth Academy)

Isaiah Miranda is SU’s highest-rated center offer to date in the Class of ‘23. Unfortunately, he may also be the most unrealistic prize for Jim Boeheim and company. The seven-footer from Pawtucket, Rhode Island has a slew of other offers from schools that include Kentucky, USC, Providence, and UCLA. Back on March 31st, 247Sports recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins noted that Syracuse has, at least so far, not been a serious player for Miranda as of late.

“Regarding his recruitment Miranda says Connecticut, Georgetown, Kentucky, and USC are the four schools showing him the most love. He has only taken one official visit to USC and an unofficial to Kentucky but plans on visiting the other schools in the near future.” (247Sports’ Brandon Jenkins, 3/31/22)

As of right now, 247Sports’ predictive model shows Miranda leaning towards Kentucky. Today, Miranda sits as the No. 32 overall Class of ‘23 recruit in the country.

Papa Kante (4-star, South Kent School)

Kante’s name appeared on OrangeFizz last August when he initially received his offer from the school, and SU is evidently still in the running. The 6’10” Kante plays high school ball in Connecticut. His head coach at the South Kent School, Raphael Chillious, spoke highly of Kante’s skills last Summer.

‚ÄúHe can score in the post but also has a nice turn and face up game. He prides himself on toughness, playing hard and communicating at a high level. He’s only played organized basketball for just under three years, so he’s just scratching the surface of what he will be prior to entering college in two years.‚Äù (Raphael Chillious to SI‚Äôs Mike McAllister, 8/28/21)

Kante’s size and presence inside would be a boon for SU, especially after dealing with skinnier, less-suited players like Marek Dolezaj at the five for a few years running. However, Syracuse will have to fight off plenty of other programs to secure Kante’s commitment. Like Isaiah Miranda, Kante has a bounty of offers, including those from Kansas, Tennessee, and Michigan.

Ugonna Kingsley (NR, Putnam Science Academy)

The wildcard of this group is Kingsley, who doesn’t possess a 247Sports rating as of yet. tabs him as a 4-star by their metrics, and it’s believable if you take a look at the attention Kingsley has already attracted. The 6’11” Nigerian native already possesses offers from Seton Hall, Providence, and Texas Tech. Per an interview on Fansided, Putnam Science Academy assistant coach Dana Valentine was highly complimentary of Kingsley’s skills.

“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.” (Dana Valentine to Fansided, 2/12/22)

If you recall, Peter Carey was unranked on 247Sports at the time of his Syracuse commitment and a little more of an unknown quantity. He’s since jumped to a 3-star ranking, and SU appears to have bought low on Carey’s rising stock. The Orange should be hopeful they can pull off something similar with Kingsley as the Class of ‘23 cycle continues.

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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