When a 7-foot-2 center comes knocking on your door, you open it - which is exactly what Syracuse has done. On May 18, news broke that Paschal Chukwu would transfer from Providence. He would have been Friar's starting center next season.
Chukwu told TheShiver.com yesterday that he will visit Syracuse. A date has not yet been announced.
Paschal will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2015-16 season, which would be ideal for the Orange. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds this past season for the Friars, but you can't teach size. Imagine a 7-foot-2 center sitting the middle of Jim Boeheim's zone protecting the rim. It opens up the guards to jump more passing lanes, as well as a dominant force on the glass.
DaJuan Coleman is expected to start at center for the Orange this season. Coleman, who sat out the entire 2014-15 season with a knee injury, is listed at 6-foot-9. He'll have junior eligibility this year due to a medical redshirt last season.
In the 2016 class, Syracuse already has a verbal commitment from 6-foot-8 forward Matthew Moyer. Other than Moyer, Syracuse isn't necessarily "close" to landing another commitment. Adding Paschal would be like him signing with the 2016 class. The only problem is that Syracuse is short on scholarships. If he were to commit to Syracuse, he wouldn't be on an athletic scholarship for the 2015-16 season, and would take the final available scholarship for the 2016-17 season.
Syracuse has offers out to 2016 big men Sedee Keita and James Banks. Both remain very interested in the Orange.
SU is in desperate need of adding a center. When the 2016-17 season rolls around, Coleman and Chino Obokoh will be the only two centers listed on the roster. If that doesn't scare anyone, I don't know what will. Adding a big body like Chukwu will provide depth and growth.
Rakeem Christmas averaged 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds as a freshman. As a senior, the All-American averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. With the right coaching (Mike Hopkins), Chukwu could be another dominant center to come through Syracuse University.
Paschal recently completed a visit at Kansas. The Jayhawks, like Syracuse, don't have a scholarship to offer. However, that doesn't seem to be a major concern at the moment. The Orange could potentially opt to start the scholarship reductions in the 2016-17 season, if necessary. He also plans to visit Virginia and Michigan State.