Dior Johnson was slated to be the highest-ranked player since Carmelo Anthony to join the Syracuse Orange program. However, on Tuesday night, the five-star recruit announced on social media that he will reopen his recruitment process.
According to Syracuse.com’s Mike Waters, sources told him that Johnson and the Syracuse coaching staff mutually agreed to part ways. The guard reportedly spoke to the Orange coaching staff before announcing his decision.
Johnson is considered a top-five player in the class of 2022 by 247sports and Rivals. While he would have been a welcome addition to the program, there were some questions about his academic eligibility, according to The Athletic’s Matthew Gutierrez. Currently a junior in high school, Johnson is attending Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., which is his fifth high school in three years.
There is some speculation that given Johnson’s talent, he could forego collegiate basketball completely like former Syracuse signee Darius Bazley did. His options then would be to follow a path similar to projected top-five pick LaMelo Ball and play basketball overseas or follow Bazley’s path and sign a contract with the G League before entering the NBA Draft (where he was selected the Thunder, and saw plenty of minutes this past season).
With Johnson reopening his recruitment, Syracuse no longer has any verbal commits from the class of 2022. As John wrote about on Monday, Syracuse does have an offer out to four-star recruit Roddy Gayle, who included the Orange in his top six schools. However, crystal ball experts are predicting that he’ll commit to Ohio State. Syracuse also only has one commit in the class of 2021 in Benny Williams.