As you’re well aware of by now, Syracuse missed on Quade Green Saturday night as he chose Kentucky over Syracuse, Duke, Villanova and Temple. This hurts as Green was favored to land in an Orange uniform up until the last week of his recruitment.
Said Green, “He told me (John Calipari) to come in and play, and that I was gonna be the starting point guard for the upcoming team. And after that I decided that it was the best option I had.”
So that stings quite a bit. You have to wonder whether Green was looking for a promised starting role — something he probably didn’t get from Syracuse as Franklin Howard figures to start for the remainder of his time in Orange. But missing on Green hurts because Syracuse didn’t hedge its bet. It had already discontinued its recruitment with Oak Hill point guard Matt Coleman.
“Syracuse called me and said ‘Matt, we aren’t knocking your game. We love you but we’re going to focus on Quade Green because that’s our guy,’” Coleman had said to ZagsBlog.
So where can Syracuse go from here?
Option 1) Do nothing. The worst of the available options. (Doesn’t recommend)
Option 2) Pray Hamidou Diallo comes to his senses and chooses Syracuse and pray Tyus Battle stays for his sophomore year. Battle can provide minutes at point when Franklin Howard is given a blow and Jim Boeheim can elect to use a troika of guards in a three-man rotation. (Doesn’t recommend but better than option 1)
Option 3) Re-establish relationships with former guards in 2017 class and offer second tier guards in the class. Trevon Duval and Matt Coleman are still on the board. Recruiting someone like Trae Young is probably a long shot by now, but Syracuse might have to offer some lower rated prospects in the 2017 class. (Slightly recommends)
Option 4) Tap into relationships with junior college/overseas players and take advantage of grad-transfer market at the end of the season. (Recommends)
Option 5) A melange of options 2-4. Do all of these. At this point finding a guard — preferably two — for next year becomes imperative and backcourt players are few and far between in the 2017 class. (Highly recommends)
Syracuse has developed it’s guards quite nicely in year’s past. There’s no shame in taking a lower-rated prospect and letting him evolve over the course of his career. This can be effective as long as Syracuse finds someone who is ready to contribute right away while letting another guard develop. This worked out well with guys like Andy Rautins.
Rautins came into his freshman campaign (2005-2006) with Eric Devendorf, who was ready to contribute immediately. Andy was able to develop while learning from Gerry McNamara in his senior year. As a five-year player, I think we all know how important Rautins was to the 2009-2010 team. Furthermore, Scoop Jardine wasn’t a low level prospect, but he developed into a fine point guard in his Syracuse tenure. The coaching staff does a tremendous job of developing players, so taking a four-year player wouldn’t hurt.