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Looking at Syracuse men’s basketball recruiting during the ACC era

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If recruiting didn’t fall off, it couldn’t have picked up recently

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Syracuse at West Virginia Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

We told you that the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program was facing a pivotal recruiting cycle with the 2022 class.

So far, this Orange coaching staff has landed three strong commitments so far and remains in contention for two more big-time prospects. The success has caused a lot of Syracuse fans to unleash plenty of “BoEhEiM cAnT rEcRuIt” comments because SU currentlys sits in the top 10 among 2022 classes.

It’s pretty early in the cycle to take a victory lap, especially when Syracuse missed out on two top-50 prospects. It’s also too early to say the class couldn’t remain in the top ten.

What is interesting about the discussion around Syracuse’s recruiting is that a number of Orange fans have contended that the last few years has not seen a drop in recruiting. Many of those same fans point to the commitments of Kamari Lands, Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland as a sign that Syracuse is “back.” It really can’t be both ways, folks. If recruiting didn’t dip, it couldn’t be back. And yes clearly there is some impact from the recruiting sanctions and loss of Mike Hopkins

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 01 Syracuse at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The numbers as usual tell us the truth about the upward trend the Orange are beginning to see starting with Benny Williams this year.

Syracuse MBB Recruiting

Player Year ESPN rank (Top 100 Only) 247 Rank Rivals Rank (stars)
Player Year ESPN rank (Top 100 Only) 247 Rank Rivals Rank (stars)
Tyler Ennis 2013 20 23 5 (22)
Tyler Roberson 2013 31 41 4 (39)
BJ Johnson 2013 82 89 3 (136)
Ron Patterson 2013 NR 175 3
Chinosoh Okoboh 2013 NR 180 3
Chris McCullough 2014 24 21 5 (19)
Kaleb Joseph 2014 50 48 4 (46)
Malachi Richardson 2015 23 34 4 (35)
Tyler Lydon 2015 76 72 4 (64)
Frank Howard 2015 94 79 4 (86)
Tyus Batle 2016 36 34 4 (33)
Matthew Moyer 2016 75 66 4 (40)
Taurean Thompson 2016 76 74 4 (84)
Oshae Brissett 2017 NR 137 4
Bourama Sidibe 2017 NR 190 3
Howard Washington 2017 NR 289 3
Marek Dolezaj 2017 NR 111 NR
Jalen Carey 2018 38 61 4 (53)
Buddy Boeheim 2018 NR 349 4
Robert Braswell 2018 NR 151 4
Brycen Goodine 2019 77 97 4 (92)
Quincy Guerrier 2019 NR 121 4
Joe Girard 2019 NR 202 3
Jon Bol Ajak 2019 NR 480 3
Jesse Edwards 2019 NR 198 3
Kadary Richmond 2020 91 90 4 (85)
Woody Newton 2020 NR 147 4 (126)
Frank Anselem 2020 NR 201 3
Benny Williams 2021 32 31 5 (21)
Kamari Lands 2022 22 35 4 (30)
Justin Taylor 2022 99 62 4 (54)
Quadir Copeland 2022 NR 140 4 (85)

Recruiting rankings obviously don’t always predict success at the collegiate level (as a certain 349th-ranked player has shown us). No matter what happens with the rest of the 2022 class, it’s the best-rated group since 2016 and will hopefully be the group that triggers another run like the Orange saw when they were first transitioning into the ACC.

Will that translate to on-court success? Turning these recruiting wins into more ACC wins is going to be on the coaching staff, but in the near future we shouldn’t be hearing about players not ready to contribute from the moment they step on campus. We might also hear a few more people willing to admit that yes, after 2017, Syracuse men’s basketball recruiting was not up to the standards we’ve come to expect. And that’s why they’re turning around and you’re so excited now.