As you know, Syracuse will have two incoming recruits in the McDonald's All-America Game tonight. Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas will suit up for the East squad at 10pm EST and the game will be televised on ESPN and ESPN3.com (We'll game a GameThread here).
It's the first time Syracuse has had two players in the game since 2007. Both of those '07 players, Donte Greene and Jonny Flynn, were both gone within two seasons. How does that bode for MWC and Rak?
CuseOrange doesn't think this duo will have the same opportunity that the '07 did for showcasing their talents right away:
Michael Carter-Williams and Rakeem Christmas don’t figure to get a ton of immediate minutes due to the logjams in front of them at their respective positions. With only Rick Jackson leaving and three players coming aboard, there will be plenty of depth, perhaps more than any team in the conference. ...The kind of depth SU has leaves some wiggle room for both freshmen to make their cases for playing time. When practice starts in the fall, there remains a chance that both players will make early impacts because there aren’t many players already on the roster who are locks to run away with the lion’s share of available bench minutes next season.
Otto's Army ponders the same thing and thinks the incoming freshmen give Boeheim a "good problem" to have:
Along with Trevor Cooney, Syracuse is bringing in a freshman class that could help make us the deepest team in the Big East. This has created a "good problem" for Jim Boeheim as he tries to determine what form the team will take next season. The comments section of a couple of posts last week were filled with speculation of what might happen – everything from the possible transfer of Mookie Jones or even James Southerland, to the red shirting Cooney, Baye Moussa Keita or possibly Fab Melo, to the sixth-man-ifying (I dare not say benching) of Scoop Jardine.
We've got plenty of time to mill over how effective they'll be wearing Syracuse orange. The question for now is, how much playing time will they see in McDonald's red? Expect to see both players on the court so we'll get the chance to cross-reference what others have been saying about Rak and MCW so far.
Rivals was concerned with Christmas' ability to keep up with the other players on the floor consistently. Their big concern with MCW is, obviously, size. That seems to be the big concern with Carter-Williams in general. The god news is, he's not going to be thrown to the wolves right away. The bad news is, Scoop's going to hook him on double burritos in order to bulk up. I just know it.
Check out Rakeem's patented half-court, underhanded shot. Eat your heart out, Pearl Washington.