The Syracuse Orange have five scholarship recruits joining the team for the 2013-2014 season. The last time we had so many newbies was 2007, when five freshmen and Kristof! joined the squad.
Between 2001 and 2012, Syracuse's recruiting classes have ranged between two and six players, more often than not settling in at three players. Regardless of the numbers, one thing remains clear...
Don't expect all five of them to work out.
I know it's hard to see that right now. You see SU has a near-top ten ranking. You see multiple players among the Top 150 overall. You see five guys who can make an impact, either immediate or over the next 4-5 years.
But...I'm sorry, they all won't.
The odds tell us one of them will be a complete bust. He might even transfer or leave the program. Another one will probably end up falling well short of expectations. The other three? We'll, they're the ones we'll be counting on.
As to which ones they will be...I can't really tell you.
Don't believe me? Let's look at every recruiting class since 2001 to see how there's almost always at least one star and one bust (that's as far as I could go back via Scout/Rivals):
2001: Hakim Warrick was a superstar. Josh Pace and Craig Forth were solid contributors and valuable pieces of a National Title team. Connecticut Gatorade State Player of the Year Marc Konecny? Never heard of him.
2003: Five-star Darryl Watkins was a two-year starter but hardly a superstar. Four-star Demetris Nichols became a stud while Terrence Roberts was more of a solid contributor. Four-star Louie McCrosky was good defensively but never lived up to the hype on offense, eventually transferring.
2004: Four-star Josh Wright became a starter but was shaky at best, transferring in his final season. Four-star Dayshawn Wright was a one-year bust who failed out of SU. Two-star Tommy Moss did play four years for Syracuse...on the football team. You may know him as Rice Moss. He never played for the basketball team.
2006: Five-star Paul Harris certainly played well, but not well enough to justify the hype. He also left early over perceived issues with Boeheim. Four-star Mike Jones didn't even make it through his freshman season, transferring to South Carolina. Three-star Devin Brennan-McBride's career was ambushed by injuries and he quit the team early in his sophomore season.
2007: The five-star recruits, Donte Green and Jonny Flynn, lived up to the hype and were both gone within two season. Four-star Scoop Jardine & Rick Jackson both became solid leaders and contributors over their full careers. Three-star JUCO transfer Kristof Ongenaet became a dependable glue-guy. However, three-star Sean Williams saw little action in two seasons before transferring.
2008: Four-star Mookie Jones was a one-note player who never got serious minutes, eventually leave the team in his junior (4th) season for "personal reasons." Three-star Kris Joseph became a dependable team leader and NBA draft pick.
2009: Scout listed DaShonte Riley as a four-star recruit. He saw limited time in two seasons before transferring. Meanwhile, three-star recruits Brandon Triche and James Southerland were very solid players who just led SU to the Final Four.
2010: Five-star Fab Melo made huge improvements in two seasons but had academic issues that helped push him out the door to the NBA. Four-star Dion Waiters was talented enough to leave after two seasons while four-star C.J. Fair was the best player on this year's Final Four squad and has a chance to leave a lasting legacy next year. Three-star Baye Keita has become a dependable bench player and glue guy.
2011: Four-star Michael Carter-Williams was a national leader in assists and steals before going pro. Four-star Rakeem Christmas is still growing into his role as a dominant center. Three-star Trevor Cooney had a rough redshirt freshman season but we remain hopeful he'll get better.
2012: Four-star Jerami Grant is already well on his way to becoming a solid contributor and potential star. Four-star DaJuan Coleman had the generic SU Big Man Freshman Season and should be much improved.
As you can see, there's no science to it. We've been pretty lucky in the last three seasons (as far as we know so far). Hopefully we stay lucky. But sooner or later, we're due for a 4/5-star player who just doesn't make the cut.