Taurean Thompson. Buddy Boeheim. Kadary Richmond (kinda). Syracuse has picked up good talent from Brewster Academy in recent years. One might figure that reputation would help Jim Boeheim out in with future recruiting classes. But instead, talent from this Northeast basketball powerhouse in the class of 2023 is going elsewhere. Case in point, Matas Buzelis.
Buzelis is a consensus five-star recruit, and almost a sure one-and-done prospect. His older brother Azoulas plays at Arizona, and Matas looks to be the better of the two coming out of the prep ranks. Standing at 6-foot-10, 190 lbs, Buzelis has a Kevin-Durant type of body, and plays with that similar swingman style. He’s a really good catch-and-shooter who can get to the basket with his length, but what stands out is his effort level. A five-star recruit could easily play selfishly, protecting himself and his future prospects, but Buzelis makes hustle plays. Check out the rebounds, blocks and jumping saves to keep the ball in play below.
“At 6-10 has exceptional length for a highly developed skill set. Has a very thin build but can absorb contact. Is a smooth athlete with wiggle and capable of scoring around defenders. When not euro stepping to finish, prefers to finish off two feet. Shoots the ball well from outside but does have a low release at this point. Midrange scoring is an are for development where there is great potential. Handles the ball extremely well. Has a high dribble but it is on a string. Sees the floor and has feel for passing. Needs to gain strength as a rebounder but has a nose for the ball and has extremely sure hands. Lateral quickness can improve but has a feel for using his length as a defensive weapon. His competitive nature bodes well for his future development.”Jerry Palm, 247sports.com
Buzelis would certainly be a program-changing player for whichever school gains his pledge. Right now, Syracuse would be without its emotional leader in 2023, and Buzelis, even as a freshman, would’ve stepped into that role. However, even though SU was one of the first programs to offer the five-star (back in November of 2020), that holds no weight anymore. Good luck at Wake Forest?? It seems like UNC and Kentucky are the frontrunners for Buzelis at the moment, depending on what NIL deals are offered. Regardless, Orange fans won’t see the latest Brewster Academy star don ‘Cuse colors.