It's been a perilous couple of month for Syracuse Orange basketball fans whose health and well-being depends on commitments from recruits and transfers.
First, Top 100 recruit Taurean Thompson toyed with our emotions for months on end before committing to play for SU and filling a critical spot on the depth chart. Obviously, Thompson's intentions were not to put Cuse Nation on edge (nor should it have been his concern either) but it comes with the territory. We love Syracuse basketball and care deeply about its continued success. Ergo, we have an unhealthy obsession with new shiny things that could potentially confirm that.
Now it's Andrew White III's turn to freak out the SU faithful. The Nebraska grad transfer brings with him a scorer's mentality and NBA-potential talent. Assuming that its true he's going to choose between SU and the VCU Rams, Orange fans are thirsting pretty hard right now for a confirmation. Rumors are flying and there isn't a day someone doesn't ask me if there's any news on Twitter or Facebook. If he comes to Syracuse, he could be the final piece in what looks like Jim Boeheim's most complete team in years.
If he doesn't come to Syracuse, though...you know what? We'll probably be fine.
Cause here's the thing. We don't even know for sure that White will be the savior we're all assuming he is. He could fizzle out. He could end up in Boeheim's doghouse. He could get injured. There's a million ways things could go wrong. SU fans should know...
Same goes for transfer John Gillon, who is stepping up into a new weight class of competition.
Same goes for Thompson and Tyus Battle and Matthew Moyer. History and the odds tell us at least one of those three freshman will flame out, either transferring or spending their career on the bench. On paper, you don't want to believe it, but it's true.
I always like to go back to the warning I gave about the vaunted 2013 recruiting class. Of the five guys in that class, one was a superstar (Tyler Ennis), one became a solid contributor (Tyler Roberson) and three are no longer with the program (Chino Obokoh, BJ Johnson, Ron Patterson). That's how it works.
White isn't an unproven freshman, however. He's a very proven fifth-year senior. But he also comes with baggage. Potential issues based on the fact that he's transferred twice and concerns about his maturity have come up multiple times. Fair or not, that labels his ultimate success as a wait-and-see, not a guarantee.
All of this isn't to say you shouldn't be excited about White if he does commit to Syracuse. You should be. Syracuse hasn't been this deep in years and White brings the potential of veteran leadership and scoring to a team that can always use more of both.
Just try not to lock in your expectations before we see what we've actually got.
And if he decided to go to VCU or someplace else instead, so be it. Syracuse is well-positioned to do well in 2016-2017 either way.