Syracuse’s program is in a precarious position. The Orange have accumulated a lot of recruiting assets coming out of the sanctions laid down by the NCAA in the middle of the last decade. SU decided to cash a lot in for the class of 2022, headlined by Judah Mintz, a top-40 player. But, going all in on this class is not paying dividends on the court so far, plus it’s hurting the future.
Yes, the Orange offered Kiyan Anthony, son of Carmelo Anthony, last weekend in the Dome. But, he’s a member of the class of 2025, a current sophomore in high school. That’s a long way away. Syracuse has tried for members of the class of 2023 but has come up empty each time and there are no persistent reports or rumors about how the Orange are trying to fix this problem.
What has been reported is that opposing coaches are using Jim Boeheim’s pending retirement against him and that because of the uncertainty surrounding how long he’ll coach, it’s hurting whether prospects want to come to Central New York. 2024 is no different. The Orange have hosted recruits on and off for the last couple of months, but once again nothing is sticking and there is no momentum for a commitment to the future of Syracuse.
So, that brings everything back to the Colgate game on Tuesday night. Why would recruits want to play for a program that used to be consistently ranked in the top 25 that is now consistently losing to COLGATE. Yes, mid-major upsets happen, but this is now starting to become a trend. Disappointing losses are snowballing, and despite the reprieve, SU might get from playing a Northeastern team that ranks 251st on kenpom.com, there are more losable games down the road.
Syracuse cannot afford a nonconference win/loss record like it had last season when it lost to Colgate, went 1-2 in the Bahamas, and lost to Villanova and Georgetown. That’s not very good. Boeheim was much smarter about his schedule this year, going to Brooklyn before Thanksgiving for a smaller tournament where the Orange take on Richmond Monday night.
Syracuse plays Georgetown again this year, but at home, and this is another very bad Hoyas team. If SU loses to them, the wheels might be coming off the train. The only knowingly tough game coming up is at Illinois in the ACC/B1G Ten Challenge. But, the Orange need to take care of business around that Illinois game.
That means winning at least one game in Brooklyn, and beating the teams you’re supposed to like Bryant, Monmouth, Cornell, and Oakland. Syracuse continues to have opportunities to beef up its record and gain valuable playing experience before the heart of ACC play. Any playing time is better than none, but the Colgate game is just another reminder that already within the recruiting failures that are future classes, that’s going to make it worse.