Around this time last year, many were lauding Jim Boeheim and his coaching staff’s ability to sway recruits in Syracuse’s direction with pre-prepped promises and great visits. But another class of 2023 commitment yesterday spoiled those compliments tenfold. Drew Fielder, a four-star, 6’9 center, chose Providence over interest from 30 other schools, one of which was Syracuse.
The reason the word “tenfold” was used is because the Orange were not just denied, but shunned in the process. The Boise, Idaho native, who currently attends school in Southern California, decided on Providence, the only interested school on 247 Sports that had yet to offer the big man, after his visit over the weekend, choosing to disregard his planned visit to Central New York from September 23-25.
There are plenty of ways to look at this sudden decision. First, how could the Orange convince Fielder to sit behind Jesse Edwards, recent transfer Mounir Hima, and three-star commit Peter Carey, or at least surrender playing time as center option number three or four. The other way to evaluate this move is by scoffing at the fact that SU once again fails to recruit high level centers. Although the Cuse do a better job at developing centers once they are in an Orange uniform, it’s more important to find talent early then waste a boatload of time trying to pry it out of a student-athlete. The third view is to predetermine that the class of 2023 is most likely than not going to produce one recruit (like Benny Williams’ class) or none.
No matter which direction you choose to lean, it’s obvious that the Orange have recruiting problems, or at least have lost some of what made CNY a desirable location to play college basketball. Another example was SU’s inability to land JP Estrella, Reid Ducharme, or Elijah Gertrude. Now it’s time to add Fielder to the list even if Syracuse fans were not hyper-focused on the center’s recruiting trail.
With Fielder off the board, Syracuse’s time to land a class of 2023 recruit is quickly fading with not much insurance ahead. The four-star and above center market is nearly wiped out and although the Orange are not in the market for guards with plenty of them on the current roster, another speedster that can control the rock never hurts.