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Syracuse Basketball Recruiting: Cheickna Dembele Chooses UNLV Over Syracuse, Others

The "other" big man that Syracuse had it's eye on to complete the 2016 class has gone elsewhere. Hello, Taurean Thompson...

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange basketball program seems to have two very specific goals before the 2016-2017 season.

1. Bring in a grad transfer guard who can contribute and fill a leadership void.

2. Bring in a 2016 big man to add depth to a line-up that often find itself lacking in that department.

On the second one, the Orange seem to have zeroed in on two guys, 6-foot-11 Cheickna Dembele and 6-foot-9 Taurean Thompson. The latter is in Syracuse this weekend which is good news because the former just decided to go play for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels instead.

Syracuse had been included in Dembele's Top 10 along with Michigan State, Maryland and others but UNLV was the other school he visited before his decision.

Thompson was and remains the goal for SU coaches so it's not the end of the world. It just means they've put all their eggs into this one basket. If they don't get Thompson, it's unclear who that last scholarship would go to, if anyone. It won't be easy as the Top 100 recruit has offers on the table from Kansas and Michigan State as well, just to name a few.