It’s been well documented, whether it be here on The Fizz or somewhere else, that Syracuse basketball has not recruited well over the past half-dozen years or so. Many thought the 2022 class could be the turning point back to relevance, and that might still be the case, but with the cupboard still barren for 2023 and beyond, it’s looking like just a blip and an outlier in the timeline.
As NIL has been introduced, big-name schools have pounced on that opportunity to help their players make money. Syracuse has been notably behind in that department, with Jim Boeheim saying as much throughout last season that he did not know how it would be controlled or enforced. But, over the summer, John Wildhack and his athletic department announced an NIL initiative for SU student-athletes, which should help keep players in the program along with bringing new ones in.
But, with this comes the market for people who have the money to help foster deals and relationships with these athletes because the school cannot pay them directly. Insert Adam Weitsman. Just this week, it was reported that he is going to offer seven-figure deals to multiple five-star basketball recruits per cycle, which would seemingly help Syracuse’s recruiting.
Weistman has been known for his famous connections, bringing celebrities year after year to big Syracuse games. From Tomy Brady to Jimmy Fallon to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the people have been prestigious and noteworthy. But, if he’s able to take his resources and put them even further into the players on the court and not in the stands, it could make a huge difference.
So far in this current cycle, 2023, Jim Boeheim and his staff have struck out on recruits. Whether it be JP Estrella, Reid Ducharme, and others, the Orange have not been able to secure a commitment from the current high school senior class. Who knows if this is a product of the program, NIL money, or both, but the fact remains that this must change soon.
Syracuse is still involved with plenty of guys in the class, and there is not a primary position of need thanks to the depth of the 2022 class, but Joe Girard III, Symir Torrence, and Jesse Edwards could be playing their final season of college basketball this season, all of whom are expected to play significant minutes and contribute to this year’s team. The mix of new and old is the theme of this season for SU, and that seems like a theme the Orange want to continue moving forward. The new becomes old, and the process keeps going.
So, for that theme and process to continue, SU needs to get going with the 2023 class. Often, the Orange have had commitments secured for a year-plus before guys ended up on campus. Now, it’s only nine months before they report to Syracuse, with no one new, yet. There’s always the transfer portal, but recruiting is still the lifeblood of building a roster. Maybe Adam Weitsman and his million-dollar offer can change SU recruiting. But, that remains to be seen. Actions speak louder than words.