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Recruiting: Ayala uncertain of status; are other 2017 point guards out there?

As of right now, Frank Howard is the only point guard on next year’s roster.

2018 prospect Eric Ayala drives to the basket during an AAU game over the summer.
USA Today

Class of 2018 point guard Eric Ayala told that Syracuse is working the hardest in his recruitment.

Ayala — who is eligible to reclassify to 2017 — is still undecided on which class he’ll be in, which is worrisome for the Orange moving forward.

“There’s a chance, it’s in the dark right now,” Ayala told Scout on the possibility of reclassifying. “I’m not really focused on it right now but it’s something I’ll think about toward the end of the year towards graduation when it comes out who is where, what’s going on in college, where I want to be at, how I feel.”

After Syracuse missed out on five-star Quade Green, the staff quickly jumped on Ayala, who’s a 6-foot-5 Putnam Science Academy product — the same school as five-star Hamidou Diallo.

If Ayala chooses to stay in the 2018 class, who else could Syracuse go after to fill its lack of depth at point guard for next season?

Malik Zachery — A local product, Zachery has mutual interest with the Orange, but no offer. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, according to 247Sports, and is the 77th-best point guard prospect in the class of 2017. He doesn’t have any high-major offers, according to his 247Sports profile, but he does have interest from reputable programs - Kansas, Syracuse, Penn State and Ohio State, among others.

Zachery obviously isn’t SU’s first, second or third choice, and he’s no where close to an offer, but he’s a name to keep an eye on if things continue to go south.

Howard Washington, Jr. — Washington is a former Butler commit who has always had extremely high interest in Syracuse. If the Orange was to extend an offer, Washington would have a hard time passing it up. He’s a native of Canisius (N.Y.), and recently transferred to Athlete Institute (Canada) from Montverde Academy (Fl.).

He’s listed anywhere from 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-5, and around 180 pounds. He’s a pass-first point guard - similar to Tyler Ennis - but has an improving jumper that makes him a threat on the offensive end.

Washington is a very good option for Syracuse moving forward, and probably the most realistic if the staff pursues him.


There’s always the graduate transfer market, but we see how that’s going this season. It’s taken John Gillon and Andrew White quite some time to pick up on the 2-3 zone and all that it has to offer. Offensively, White hasn’t had any trouble making the transition to Syracuse, as he leads the team in scoring. However, Gillon - who came from Colorado State - is still adjusting in SU’s system.


As of right now, Frank Howard will be the only point guard listed on the 2017-18 roster. We all see how the Orange is struggling on the court, but those struggles are also starting to become noticeable in the recruiting aspect of college basketball, as well.

The Orange have two commitments in the 2017 class: Oshae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe. The program has yet to announce whether either player has officially signed with the school.