Syracuse basketball’s six-man 2022 recruiting class (seven if you count recent transfer Mounir Hima) features players at every position. Guard, wing, forward, and center are all accounted for and it’s not just fitting into those broad scopes.
The Orange got a true pass-first point guard in Quadir Copeland who fits the mold of other tall, lanky Syracuse point guards (Michael Carter-Williams, Frank Howard, etc). Judah Mintz can either handle the ball or play off it, at both the one or the two. Expect him to start with Joe Girard III next season.
Justin Taylor, SU’s first commit, was initially billed as a guard but is now 6’7, and can play either at the top of the zone or the wing with excellent versatility. His shooting ability will make him a perfect fit next to creators like Mintz and Symir Torrence, and he can either start or come off the bench at either position on the wing.
Chris Bunch has similar strengths to Taylor at 6’7/6’8 but is more the prototypical wing/forward for Jim Boeheim. Expect the Wasatch Academy product to compete for a starting job as well in the fall.
The other forward is Maliq Brown, and he is your typical bruiser in the paint. At 6’9, Brown is a ferocious rebounder and good finisher at the basket, but his perimeter game is a work in progress. He can fill different roles than Bunch and Taylor, the other “forwards”.
Last, but certainly not least are the centers, Peter Carey and Hima. Carey, an incoming freshman, has had a wild ride the last few years with a canceled season and injuries. Do not expect him to play much as a freshman, especially after the addition of Hima as the backup center to Jesse Edwards. Carey does provide a building block for the future though.
All this is to say that Boeheim and his staff have done a good job building out depth on a roster that has surely lacked it in recent years after an abundance of departures. But, nothing lasts forever, and it’s likely at least two of these six incoming freshmen will transfer. So, that means they’ll have to be replaced.
Looking at the roster, it’s clear where more depth will be needed after the 2022-23 season. Guard. Center is always a top priority but look at the guard room under Gerry McNamara. Girard and Torrence are seniors, and likely are playing their last season this year.
Mintz, as the highest-rated recruit in the class, could have a great season and head to the NBA after one year. Copeland might not get much playing time in year one with those three guys in front of him, so maybe he sticks around the start in year two, or he could head elsewhere. Taylor can play the two, but he’s a wing more than anything.
Therefore, securing at least one guard in 2023, and likely two is essential for Syracuse. The Orange are recruiting Aden Holloway, the 54th overall player in the class according to 247 Sports from La Lumiere in Indiana.
He’s the only true point guard on SU’s radar, but other guards such as Blue Cain, Reid Ducharme, and Jacoi Hutchinson are on the wishlist as well. The 2023 cycle is just starting, and Boeheim and his assistants will surely be busy this summer supplementing future Syracuse rosters.
Guards win championships in college basketball. You may want a dominant big man or a knockdown shooter, and while those are important, strong guard play wins national championships. That’s where Syracuse needs to look in the class of 2023.