Now that Elijah Moore has committed, we can all take one big sigh of relief together. The state of Syracuse recruiting was one of darkness and despair, but that is no more for now. That said, it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to uncover that one recruit in the Class of 2024 (and maybe even earlier) will satisfy no one. So allow us to introduce you to Jalik Dunkley-Distant.
Look at that athleticism. Dunkley-Distant started to climb recruiting leaderboards at the Gotham City Showcase a few weeks ago, and it’s evident why. That alone creates buzz for the Orange, but try this on for size. Dunkley-Distant is currently playing under Tony McIntyre at Orangeville Prep (a school about 60 miles NW of Toronto). McIntyre is the father of former Syracuse standout Tyler Ennis. Bang. That’s something SU has to take advantage of, and it could be a big help in the hunt if the Orange play their cards right.
Next, Dunkley-Distant is 6’7″ yet considers himself a point guard. How can you not be excited about that? No disrespect intended to either Joe Girard or Judah Mintz over the last few seasons, but there is a big difference between 6’1″/6’3″ and 6’7″, especially when it comes to being the floor general. To put things into perspective, Caleb Love and Terquavion Smith, two of the best guards in the ACC, stand at 6’4″. Not only is Dunkley-Distant freakishly athletic (a year and a half away from college by the way) he’s also got excellent height for his position. What isn’t to love?
Finally, chances are Dunkley-Distant could slide into a major role right from the get-go. It may happen this year or might be next, but it’s reasonable to bet that Mintz will have moved on to the NBA by the Fall of 2024. Quadir Copeland has shown flashes of being able to play the 1, but Jim Boeheim has been insistent on putting him at the 3 (a very undersized 3 at that) in his limited playing time. If Copeland is still around two years from now and that remains the case, Dunkley-Distant has the point guard role at his fingertips.
We at the Fizz have been jumping for joy since Moore committed, and with good reason. But if SU can secure the services of Dunkley-Distant in favor of what is currently not a deep race (biggest competitors include Pitt, Rhode Island, and Mississippi ST), we can really start to buy into the future of this program.