Syracuse Basketball Recruiting: Odds for Orange to Land Top 2015 Targets
If Nike T-shirts are to be believed, basketball never stops.
Syracuse's season is over, and the full 2014 recruiting class is already in the fold. That leaves us looking ahead to 2015 to see what future stars might wear orange.
Syracuse already has two commits in the class of 2015. They are Tyler Lydon, a 6'8" forward out of Pine Plains, N.Y., and Malachi Richardson, a 6'6" shooting guard from Hamilton, N.J. Lydon is No. 57 in the ESPN 60, and Richardson is No. 10 on the list.
But Jim Boeheim has more players on his radar. There are several top uncommitted players who are considering joining the Orange program. Let's take a look at the odds some of the top targets sign with the Orange.
Isaiah Briscoe is another athletic guard like Kaleb Joseph, and he could be a good fit at the top of the 2-3 zone.
The 6'3" guard out of Union, N.J., is rated 19th on the ESPN 60. Briscoe has a "warm" interest in Syracuse at this point, according to 247Sports. However, the experts at 247Sports say Arizona is the front-runner to earn Briscoe's services. None of the 18 predictors picked him to choose Syracuse.
What could work in Syracuse's favor, however, is having Richardson. Briscoe enrolled at Roselle Catholic High School after Richardson left and went to Trenton Catholic. Since both are from New Jersey, Richardson could help sway Briscoe's decision.
Briscoe's father even thinks his son and Richardson complement each other well on the court. According to ZagsBlog.com, George Briscoe said "Malachi is a deep-ball shooter, Isaiah works off the dribble. They complement each other. I wouldn’t see that as an issue.”
Briscoe did attend Syracuse's game against St. John's at Madison Square Garden earlier this season. The Orange are certainly still in the mix, but with stiff competition from Arizona, Rutgers and St. John's, Boeheim could have trouble landing the kid.
Syracuse has a distinct advantage when it comes to Thomas Bryant.
The 6'10" forward is from right up the road in Rochester, N.Y., and was teammates with current Orange player Chinonso Obokoh. Both players attended Bishop Kearney High in Rochester before Bryant transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia.
Bryant is the 14th-rated player in the ESPN 60 and has offers from Florida, West Virginia, UCLA and Miami, along with Syracuse and others.
According to the prognosticators at 247Sports, Syracuse is in a two-horse race with West Virginia for Bryant's services. Syracuse.com's Donna Ditota reported in August that Syracuse has been considered the favorite to get Bryant. Ditota said Bryant has attended several Syracuse games over the past few years and went to Midnight Madness at SU with Obokoh a year ago.
Bryant has a "warmer" interest in both West Virginia and Syracuse, per 247Sports. You would think that Syracuse would be the favorite considering Bryant is a local kid, has a former teammate already on the team and that Syracuse is a better program.
But the transfer to a prep school in West Virginia could be a bit telling. If Bryant likes it more down there or he fears he could be redshirted at Syracuse like Obokoh was, he could instead choose the Mountaineers.
Cheick Diallo's shot-blocking ability could make him a menace in the middle of Boeheim's zone.
The 6'9" center out of Centereach, N.Y., is ranked eighth in the ESPN 60 and is the top player in the state of New York, according to ESPN.
Diallo has a pile of offers from schools such as Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, Texas and Villanova. Per the folks at 247Sports, Pitt is the leader right now to land Diallo.
In fact, Diallo has only a "cool" interest in Syracuse, according to 247's information. With so many offers and not much apparent interest in Syracuse at the moment, Diallo is likely to land elsewhere. Of course, things can change, but Orange fans should temper their hopes of Diallo signing with Syracuse.
Derrick Jones is a high-flyer who could thrive in transition for Syracuse.
The 6'6" southpaw from Philadelphia is the top player from Pennsylvania and ranked 22nd in the ESPN 60. He is a little lean right now, but that is to be expected from a junior in high school. Considering the athleticism he already displays, Jones could be another Jerami Grant-type of player once his body fills out.
Per 247Sports, Jones has a "warm" interest in Syracuse, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas. Out of 11 predictions on 247Sports, 10 like Jones to choose Syracuse with the other favoring Kentucky. Considering the recent success Boeheim has had recruiting in the Philadelphia area with players like Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine and Rakeem Christmas, it's understandable why Syracuse is the leader for Jones.
But you can never count out John Calipari.
At the risk of a cheap joke, this one seems like a slam dunk.
Moustapha Diagne, the 29th-rated player in the ESPN 60, is a 6'9" power forward from Sparta, N.J., who looks like he was made to play for Syracuse.
To start with, if you watch the above video, Diagne wears No. 44. That is Syracuse's holy number, and it can't be a coincidence that that's the number Diagne chose.
Also, per Mike Waters of Syracuse.com, Diagne attended the Syracuse game against Duke at the Carrier Dome. There's nothing like 35,000 fans to help you decide where you want to go to school. According to Waters, Diagne also went to Syracuse's Elite Camp last August and Orange Madness in October.
If 247Sports is any indication, it is a foregone conclusion that Diagne will choose Syracuse. All 10 predictions have Diagne landing with the Orange, and Syracuse is the only school for which Diagne has a "warm" interest. It is also the only school to which Diagne has had an official visit.
However, nothing is set in stone until he commits. But it would be more surprising if Diagne chooses a school other than Syracuse.