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BB Recruiting

Syracuse Misses Out on Another Recruit; Is It Panic Time?

While all the focus in Central New York might be on the undefeated football team, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to discuss with basketball season fast approaching. The Orange have gotten on the court twice in fan promotion events, one in Rochester and another in the Dome. Next Tuesday, SU has its first exhibition match, and that will give everyone a taste of what the feel for the team is including minutes distribution, lineups, and talent on the floor.

But, off the court, it’s a different story. While the team with six freshmen has a palpable buzz for something new after the last few years of mediocrity (aside from the 2021 Sweet Sixteen), the program’s future is uncertain. Jim Boeheim told ESPN a few weeks ago he knew retirement was close, but would not disclose when. Add on to that, the Orange have no players committed in the classes of 2023 and 2024. Yes, there have been guys who visited campus the last few weeks, but, nothing has been spurred because of that.

To add insult to injury, one player who seemed to make a great deal of sense to wear Orange was Papa Kante, who attends South Kent School in Connecticut. 6’10 center is right around 100 in the 247 Sports rankings as a four-star and is someone who looked to be a perfect fit for the Orange. But, he is scheduled to announce his commitment tomorrow, and Michigan is tabbed as the heavy favorite.

That’s nothing to take away from the Wolverines, who have been a very strong recruiter since Juwan Howard became the head coach, and even before that when John Beilein was roaming the sidelines for UM. But, it’s more an indictment on SU, who, it seems, did not make Kante a priority. Maybe that’s because of the faith Boeheim and his staff has in the development of Mounir Hima and Peter Carey, but you can never have a surplus of talent at the center position, especially for a team like Syracuse, which has struggled to develop there over the past decade or so before Jesse Edwards.

Kante’s final five teams include Michigan, Maryland, Memphis, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh, all teams SU is equal to or maybe even better than when it comes to on-court performance, but when it comes to recruiting the Orange have been behind, and continue to fall behind. This is just another prime example of that.

Another domino has fallen for Syracuse and its recruiting “woes” or “struggles”, if you want to paint it that way, are continuing. Maybe it’s more of a dry spell, but it’s concerning nonetheless because there’s always a chance people transfer out of the program after this season. The future is unpredictable, but what is predictable is that SU will struggle to recruit in-season, and the class of 2023 is still empty for the Orange, and it might continue to be that way.

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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