The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program might not have their 2021 roster set but this summer’s setting up to be crucial for the coaching staff. Last year at this time we thought the early commitment from Dior Johnson was going to put the Orange in line for a top 5 class. Conversations were about what other 5-star players he’d convince to come to Syracuse with him but when Dior and the Orange mutually agreed to part ways the momentum stopped.
We know that Bourama Sidibe and Jimmy Boeheim will finish their eligibility next year but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Will Buddy decline his extra year and head into his professional career? Is Benny Williams a one and done? No matter what happens it’s an important summer as schools push in for these ‘22 recruits.
Syracuse got their first commit in SF Kamari Lands who could find himself in the backcourt if Williams is back for a second season, but who’s coming with him? Local fans would love to see Baldwinsville native JJ Starling return to the Dome and the Orange are also linked to Zion Cruz, Chance Westry and Quadir Copeland. Starling is obviously very familiar to the staff but he’s picking up more national interest after his transfer to La Lumiere.
Westry seemed very excited about Syracuse two years ago but things seemed to cool off when Dior and Cruz were floated as a package deal. Will the possibility that Buddy and Girard could be back for a fourth season as the starting backcourt keep these players from committing? If Buddy is moving on it’s imperative that the Orange find another guard in this cycle or else they will have to dive into the transfer market.
Turning to the forward spot, Syracuse is still after Ty Rodgers and Justin Taylor at the small forward spot. It appears that Taylor has a stronger interest since he will take an official visit this summer and the Orange have been pushing hard after him. Can they convince the Charlottesville native to pass on Virginia Cavaliers or Virginia Tech Hokies and head North?
At the power forward spot it’s Jarace Walker and Kyle Filipowski. The top-10 Walker will be able to pick and choose from just about every school and recently it seems that Syracuse has moved its sights to Filipowski. The stretch 4 is also rising recently and it will be curious to follow his offers over the next couple of months.
Monster weekend for 2022 Kyle Filipowski |@kylefilipowski| of NY Rens EYBL @NYRhoops at the KYDA Invitational.— Endless Motor Sports (@endless_motor) May 3, 2021
Perimeter shotmaking, playmaking for others, shot-creation off the bounce, high-level finishing at the rim all on display for the 6’10 Forward.
Criminally undervalued pic.twitter.com/BGyx3gd0iq
Since Bourama Sidibe will be moving on after this season the Orange need another big to pair with Jesse Edwards. Donovan Clingan has been on Syracuse’s radar for a while and he’ll be taking an official visit this summer. The Connecticut native has the Orange in his current Top 8 but seems to be leaning towards Michigan or UConn right now. Clingan would literally be a huge get for Jim Boeheim especially if he’s able to get him out from under UConn’s backyard.
While the new NCAA transfer rule gives a little more reprieve for recruiting misses anything less than a top 25 class would be disappointing in 2022. Syracuse fans have been looking at this class as one where the Orange would load up to build a National Championship caliber roster. If they aren’t able to land more of these top 100 recruits to pair with Lands, then at best it’s going to raise more questions about the end of Boeheim’s tenure. Worst case scenario is that 21-22 is the final run for all three Boeheims and the next Syracuse head coach inherits a program at a major crossroads.
Which recruits do you want to see Syracuse add to this class? Do you expect any surprises this summer?