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A look at how former Syracuse recruiting targets are performing elsewhere

A broad based view around the country.

Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Okay, we’ll be the first to admit it. It’s been a bit of a slow news week with Syracuse basketball on an 8-day interregnum. We haven’t quite seen a hiatus this long since the government shutdown of ‘13. What’s that you say? There was just a three-day government shutdown?

Well that’s not important. We have basketball to talk about. What could be more important than that?

Anywhosers, I digress. We thought it’d be a fun exercise to take a look around the country (not in Washington) to see how former Syracuse recruiting targets and misses are performing elsewhere.

This isn’t to suggest that these guys are wrong for not coming to Syracuse and for choosing their respective schools. This also isn’t to suggest that Syracuse recruiting has been poor. There are more misses in college recruiting than there are commits. Syracuse had a solid 2015 class and appears to have another in 2018. This was just meant to be a fun piece for interesting discussion.

Without further ado.

Quade Green - Kentucky

Quade was probably the biggest recruiting miss in last year’s class if only because Syracuse was on him early and went all in. He would likely be playing serviceable minutes right now off the bench (say what you will about Frank, he’s mostly played very well) for Syracuse. He’s giving Kentucky 10.2 points and 3.3 assists per game but is probably a bit different of a point guard than what the Wildcats are used to.

He also had an eye injury back in December and was officially the coolest player in the country that month, donning a pair of Oaks. It was an unprecedented move on the hardwood, usually reserved for America’s favorite pastime.

Virgina Tech v Kentucky
The sun never sets in Lexington.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jordan Tucker - Duke

If Quade wasn’t the biggest recruiting miss of last season, it had to be Jordan Tucker. Tucker to Syracuse almost made too much sense. He could provide shooting at the forward spot, something Syracuse lacks, and would likely be starting on this team logging heavy minutes. Instead, he went to Duke and was trimmed out of the rotation.

To be fair, he committed before Marvin Bagley and was eventually buried behind other players. Tucker announced his decision to transfer before the second semester and recently visited Georgetown and Butler. He at least avoided the pitfall and chose to become a Bulldog.

Agh, what could have been...

Matt Coleman - Texas

With Syracuse all in on Quade, the Orange missed out on Matt Coleman from Oak Hill. He eventually chose burnt orange and headed down to Texas to play for Shaka Smart. While we can’t be sure he would have eventually picked Syracuse over Texas anyway, he would have been a nice get and would be in the rotation this year. He’s good for 8.5 points and 4.9 assists per game at Texas right now.

Coleman would have continued the Oak Hill to Syracuse lineage and could have strengthened the pipeline. Alas, another swing and miss that would eventually open the door for Howard Washington, who has a compelling story and should be a solid player in due time.

Texas Tech v Texas
Lefty floater wearing Orange, on full Josh Pace.
Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images

Hami Diallo - Kentucky

Diallo was a bit of a interesting story given he committed to Kentucky last year but wasn’t eligible until this fall. He’s giving Kentucky 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Lonnie Walker - Miami

Out of Reading, PA, Lonnie Walker was a big time recruit just outside of the Empire State. He’s an incredible athletic specimin in which Syracuse will see down in Coral Gables in February. He’s averaging 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. When he dunks, watch out.

Florida State v Miami

Alex O’Connell - Duke

To no real surprise, Alex O’Connell headed to Duke where he’s a legacy basketball player. His old man played for the Blue Devils back in the day. He was ahead of Jordan Tucker in the rotation and is getting decent minutes in ACC play. He had a mini-breakout performance against Wake with 13 points and 2 rebounds.

Ethan Thompson - Oregon State

Another legacy of sorts, just used as a different term. Ethan Thompson headed to Oregon State to play where his father is the assistant coach. Of course, his father played at Syracuse and was a key cog on Syracuse’s 1987 National Cha (F*cking Keith Smart) Final Four team.

Ethan is good for 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, all the while playing alongside his older brother, Stevie Thompson Jr. It would have been cooler than Quade’s sunglasses to see either Thompson in Syracuse orange.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 21 Oregon State at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hameir Wright - Washington

Just down interstate-90 was Hameir Wright, who eventually pump faked on the reclass and headed west to play for Mike Hopkins. Out of Albany, Wright was recruited at Syracuse as a 2018 target but with Hop leaving for Montlake, Wright headed with him and he now averages 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

He’s in Hop’s 9-man rotation and offers serviceable minutes out of the center position in the 2-3 zone.

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 10 Gonzaga at Washington Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Billy Preston - Kansas

Syracuse hopped on Billy Preston late who played alongside Matt Coleman at Oak Hill. Like Coleman, Preston also headed for the Big 12, heading to Kansas. Preston will have gone down never playing a collegiate game as he just signed with a Bosnian professional team amidst the off the court issues in Lawrence.

Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree - Villanova

Playing alongside Quade at the former high school of Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine, Cosby-Roundtree was recruited by Syracuse but eventually chose to play for Jay Wright after Villanova won its title in 2016. He’s played in every game for the nation’s current No. 1 team, averaging 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per.

Alterique Gilbert - Connecticut

After playing in the 2013 Final Four down in Atlanta, Syracuse recruited Alterique Gilbert who eventually picked that team in Storrs (BFE, Conn).

Gilbert has been plagued with a nasty shoulder injury during his tenure at UConn. All jokes aside, speedy recovery.

VJ King - Louisville

VJ King picked Louisville. I will provide no further color or context on the events that have transpired since.

Omer Yurtseven - NC State

Facing a potential Enes Kanter situation, Omer Yurtseven eventually picked NC State where he would be suspended for 9 games in his freshman season. Currently, he’s one of the ACC’s — if not the country’s — most improved players. He’s averaging almost 14 points and 7 rebounds per game but has been on an absolute tear in conference play. He’s scored 28, 22 and 29 points, respectively, in three of his last four.

Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


BONUS ROUND! Syracuse Expats!

Kaleb Joseph - Creighton

The once starting Syracuse point guard is now eligible after transferring to Creighton and sitting out for one season. Kaleb was hampered early in the season by a hamstring injury and is just working his way back into the rotation.

Currently, he’s averaging 4.9 points, 1.9 assists and 1.0 rebound per game. With Martin Krampjelj (pronounced: Krahm-pel) out for the season, there’s talk of going smaller which could mean more minutes for KJ.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

BJ Johnson - La Salle

BJ has been tearing it up at La Salle in his final year of college ball. He’s averaging 20.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. He has a chance to end up with over 1,000 career points in just two seasons as an Explorer.

Ron Buss Patterson - IUPUI

Ronnie is averaging 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game for a 7-13 Jaguars team. His three point shooting has made a remarkable improvement since leaving Syracuse (hey, how about that?) to boot.


Did we miss anyone? Which recruit would you have most liked to see commit to Orange? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.