With the 2023 recruiting cycle and the summer mercury heating up, we‚Äôre already seeing some of the nation‚Äôs top talent fall into place on the recruiting trail. SU can wave goodbye to former targets like GG Jackson and Blue Cain. In their stead, other doors have opened up, like the suddenly contentious battle between ‚ÄòCuse and Duke for the services of center JP Estrella.
We‚Äôve written a fair bit about Estrella in recent days, mainly because he‚Äôs been a quick riser on recruiting boards that the Orange have paid attention to for quite some time. Estrella‚Äôs position – center – isn‚Äôt a pressing one of need this season, but there‚Äôs question marks beyond 2022-23 after Jesse Edwards‚Äô Syracuse career comes to a close. That‚Äôs why Jim Boeheim and his staff have done their due diligence on a premier center in the Class of ‚Äò24: Yves Missi.
Missi, who stands at 6‚Äô10‚Äù, 210 and hails from Cameroon, is a current 4-star in his class. He currently stacks up as 247Sports‚Äô No. 31 overall prospect in the nation. At the time of this writing, Missi is one of five Class of ‚Äò24 players to have already received an offer from SU, but ‚ÄòCuse is hardly the only school pursuing him. Missi also has offers from UCLA, Baylor, Kansas, Indiana, and others.
Missi has also cleaned up in AAU ball with the PSA Cardinals in Nike’s EYBL league. In an interview with Zagsblog.com‚Äôs Jacob Polachek, PSA head coach Terrance Williams had high praise for his center.
‚ÄúYves is one of the best players in his class‚Ä¶His upside and skill set puts him in position where he should be playing basketball for a long time.‚Äù (Terrance Williams to Jacob Polachek, 6/10/22)
Perhaps even more noteworthy is Missi‚Äôs comments on zone defenses. Though he‚Äôs offered limited soundbytes on the subject, he supplied a big one when he pointed to Syracuse as a program that plays a scheme he ‚Äúenjoys‚Äù.
‚ÄúThe best defense I compare with is the zone defense, playing around the middle.‚Äù (Missi to Zagsblog.com, 6/10/22)
A good scheme fit doesn‚Äôt automatically give you the ability to lasso a commit from a highly-ranked player, but it‚Äôs a positive development in Syracuse‚Äôs favor that dispels the idea – at least in this instance – that the 2-3 zone actively repels top talent. Complaints aimed towards Jim Boeheim and his one-of-a-kind zone defense usually focus on its antiquity or recent ineffectiveness, so seeing a player actually support the system is good news.