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Is Syracuse Hoops Missing Out on Top In-State Talent?

Stockrisers

Right now, Syracuse doesn’t have a commitment in the basketball class of 2023. That’s a prospect that’s starting to get scarier and scarier as the AAU circuits roll on. The top player in the 2023 class, small forward DJ Wagner, plays in nearby Camden, New Jersey, and there’s a wealth of hooping talent in the Garden State. However, there is also a bevy of players slightly north waiting for offers. Right now, New York’s best players are not considering Syracuse.

Last August, Spencer Mahoney, the top player in New York, did an interview with Stockrisers’ Jake Weingarten. He mentioned Harvard, Cal and DePaul as schools which were heavily involved in his recruitment. When it came to Syracuse, he said, “Cuse offer felt great, Coach Griffin’s pitch was that my game would fit perfectly into their system and that it is close to home.”

Cuse offer felt great, Coach Griffin’s pitch was that my game would fit perfectly into their system and that it is close to home.

Spencer Mahoney to Jake Weingarten

However, does that mean he’s coming? Probably not. Mahoney, a 6-foot-8 forward from Xaverian in Brooklyn, hasn’t visited the ‘Cuse campus. Instead, he’s gone to DePaul and Northwestern. The Orange could always use more wings, especially if something occurs with one of Benny Williams, Chris Bunch, Justin Taylor or Maliq Brown. Here’s what Weingarten thinks of the wing’s game:

For those who don’t know about his game, Mahoney is a two-guard, or the three, and has great size and is a capable plus defender. He’s a three-level scorer and can hit the outside shot at a very good rate. In addition, he plays his role and will clearly do whatever it takes on both ends to secure a victory. My favorite part of his game is his ability to use his size and get to the rim. If not, he’s taking the outside shot with a very good shot at landing it. 

Jake Weingarten

If Mahoney isn’t coming, who’s number two? The answer would be Brandon Williams, a four-star forward from Christ the King in Queens. The same school which produced Lamar Odom, Speedy Claxton and Jose Alvarado. Williams has offers from a lot of intriguing power five schools, including Creighton, Illinois, and USC. Syracuse is nowhere on his list.

Again, another lanky wing who can be an aggressive and get to the basket. What’s not to like? Over the past couple of years, SU’s wings have been hamstrung by an inability to handle the ball. Robert Braswell was a deer in headlights with the rock in his hands.

So what’s the reasoning from going away from the Empire State? Has the case of Kadary Richmond scared away NYC products? It’s not like Syracuse is trying to punch above its weight… these are four-star prospects, who should’ve grown up in the later glory days (2010s) of Jim Boeheim’s dominance. Syracuse is still without a commitment in the class of 2023, and these should be high priority targets.

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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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