Given the Orange’s six-member 2022 class and a young big-man transfer that it brought in this past off-season, it was always fairly likely that Syracuse basketball would end up having a small 2023 recruiting cycle.
To me, though, there’s a difference between small and zilch. To date, the ‘Cuse has offered scholarships to more than 20 players in the senior class, and Syracuse basketball has yet to score a commitment.
One of the latest misses for the Orange was 2023 four-star guard Mike Williams from Maryland, who picked LSU over the ‘Cuse and several other finalists.
Another 2023 guy who holds a Syracuse basketball offer, five-star guard D.J. Wagner from New Jersey, is expected to make his commitment decision soon, and analyst buzz points toward blue-blood program Kentucky.
The Orange, as we’ve noted several times lately, remains in the hunt for 2023 big man William Patterson from New York City, who has the ‘Cuse in his top three and may take an official visit to Syracuse basketball in the future, according to media reports.
Beyond that, however, there doesn’t seem to be much doing for the Orange in the senior cycle, and a national analyst recently offered some thoughts on the state of the team’s 2023 recruiting efforts.
Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy recently noted in an article that Patterson is an option for Syracuse basketball in 2023, “but things look murky beyond that.”
Now, we all know that the transfer portal is a big option for the ‘Cuse and every other college squad out there, since players can transfer once and still retain immediate eligibility, according to the NCAA.
As such, Cassidy said, “It’s difficult to get too worked up about an empty commitment list these days, as holding back scholarships for transfer portal use can be a wise strategy in this era. Still, the Orange not having a single high school prospect in the fold in mid-November is surprising to say the least.”
Cassidy hit the nail on the head here, from my perspective. Because of the transfer portal, and the squad’s large 2022 class, it’s not the end of the world if the ‘Cuse doesn’t land multiple commitments from 2023 high-school prospects.
For me, it’s more about perception, and perhaps also about the uncertainty over when head coach Jim Boeheim will retire, and who will replace him.
In 2021, let us not forget, Syracuse basketball only had one high-school commitment, from Benny Williams. But Williams, per some recruiting services, was a five-star player in this cycle.
In 2023, to reiterate, the Orange has offered 20-plus scholarships to prospects in this class, with no commitments. Sure, the ‘Cuse was a finalist for several 2023 players, including Williams, four-star wing Reid Ducharme (Xavier commit) and four-star big man Joseph Estrella (Tennessee pledge).
And I’m not going to get too upset if Syracuse basketball does end up securing Patterson, an unranked big man, and no one else in this class – so long as the Orange fares well in the transfer portal prior to the 2023-24 campaign commencing.
Even still, the optics of striking out on so many occasions in the 2023 cycle, to me, don’t look great for Syracuse basketball.