Recruiting took a big jump for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program when assistant head coach Adrian Autry secured two commitments last week; one from 2020 center Frank Anselem and another from top-50 2021 recruit Benny Williams. Focusing on the former for this piece, Anselem will join a three-man 2020 Syracuse recruiting class this fall that includes combo guard Kadary Richmond and forward Woody Newton.
Anselem, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, was a late addition for Syracuse. He moved from the 2021 class into the 2020 class and reopened his recruitment and Syracuse eagerly pursued. Anselem was formerly a top-100 recruit in the 2021 class but subsequently fell outside the top-100 when reclassifying to 2020. He played his first two years of high school ball in Atlanta before finishing up at Prolific Prep in Northern California.
Anselem projects as a good medium- to long-term prospect at Syracuse, suggesting to The Athletic that he doesn’t know how much he’ll play in his first year, if at all. He joins a crowded front-court at SU. Senior center Bourama Sidibe returns as a starter from a season ago and figures to take the lion’s share of minutes manning the middle. Rising sophomore Jesse Edwards played sparingly as a backup center last season and could vie for more minutes if he’s added weight to his frame. Marek Dolezaj has played the center position throughout his Syracuse career and freshman John Bol Ajak is coming off a redshirt year.
Still, standing at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, Anselem is a great fit at Syracuse. His length and athleticism should translate well in the 2-3 zone. He should excel on the defensive side of the ball but offensively he’s still raw. The tools are there for him to develop, however. He has good hands, he can run the floor and finish above the rim. He’ll be able to rebound it well on both ends of the floor.
It’s possible that Anselem’s athleticism would allow him to play the wing in the zone. He can face up from the high-post and attack. But with wings in Dolezaj, Quincy Guerrier, Robert Braswell, Newton and the possibility of Alan Griffin getting a waiver, playing time in Anselem’s freshman year will likely be few and far between at either the forward or the center position.
Anselem might not be able to make an immediate impact, but net net, he’s a good prospect for Syracuse and he should help fill a need for the center position at SU. He could be an impact player as soon as his sophomore year.
For Syracuse basketball stories and updated, follow @NunesMagician and @JamesSzuba on Twitter