Syracuse Basketball: 2015 Recruits Who'd Be a Perfect Fit for Orange
Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim is on a roll with his 2015 recruiting.
Boeheim has already landed 5-star (per ESPN.com) guard Malachi Richardson and two 4-star players in forward Tyler Lydon and Franklin Howard. But Boeheim's work is far from over.
There are six more players considering offers from Syracuse, and four of them are 5-star recruits. If Boeheim lands at least two more players in this class, it will be a Caliparian effort.
As the summer begins in earnest, and with the basketball season ages away, let's take a look at some of the players Boeheim is still working on. Which of them would be a perfect fit in Boeheim's system? Read on to find out.
If the Orange landed Cheick Diallo, Syracuse fans would deal with whatever happens in the 2014 season while waiting anxiously for 2015.
DaJuan Coleman's injury problems don't seem to want to go away, and Rakeem Christmas is heading into his final year of eligibility. That would leave Chinonso Obokoh as the only viable center on the Orange roster. Diallo would be an ideal recruit to plug into the middle of the 2-3 zone.
Diallo is the prototypical Syracuse center. He's a spry 6'9" and 210 pounds, and he runs the floor on his toes like Serge Ibaka or Joel Embiid instead of lumbering like Yao Ming or Roy Hibbert. That would make him a deadly force running from rim to rim in transition.
Diallo is also a polished shot-blocker. He shows good timing in his jumps and is able to erase shots from any angle. He would be a force in the middle of Boeheim's defense.
Diallo is a 5-star recruit, according to ESPN.com, and is the Worldwide Leader's eighth-ranked player in the class of 2015. Per 247Sports, Diallo currently doesn't have much interest in Syracuse. Boeheim is also competing against Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona and St. John's (Diallo's hometown school) for his services.
There's a lot of work to do to sell Diallo on Syracuse. But if Boeheim gets it done, it would be a coup and would immediately vault Syracuse's 2015 class to the top of the pile.
Moustapha Diagne is another big man that could give the Orange some depth in the middle.
Diagne is built a lot like Baye-Moussa Keita, but he has a higher quality offensive game and he actually seems to be able to catch the ball on the move. He's also shown the ability to jump passing lanes and handle the ball in transition, something Keita could never dream of doing.
News came out recently on Zagsblog.com (via Scout.com) that Diagne will announce his college decision on May 30. Adam Zagoria on Zagsblog said Diagne will choose between Syracuse and Memphis. The crystal ball readers at 247Sports expect Diagne to choose the Orange, which would be a tremendous win for Boeheim.
The 6'9", 240-pound forward out of Sparta, New Jersey, would provide a much-needed big body to Boeheim's 2015 recruiting class. If Boeheim lands his guy, Diagne could become a two-way player the likes of which Syracuse hasn't had since Rick Jackson.
You starting to see a trend here?
Thomas Bryant is yet another big man that Boeheim is trying to bring into the fold. Bryant is a local kid who hails from nearby Rochester. He even was high school teammates with Obokoh before Bryant switched gears and went to Huntington Prep in West Virginia.
Bryant appears to have the most advanced offensive repertoire of all the big men Boeheim is recruiting. He can handle the ball, finish around the rim and even step out and hit a long-range jumper. He may not be the defensive force of Diagne or Diallo, but he would give the Orange a reliable scoring threat inside.
Syracuse needs to be sure it lands at least one of the three big men it is targeting. One would be a success. If Boeheim lands more than one, the 2015 season will be filled with potential, and it will provide more reason for Syracuse to make sure it keeps Mike Hopkins around for his recruiting prowess.
Finally we get to a player that wouldn't play center or power forward.
Boeheim did extremely well restocking his backcourt, so now he needs to focus on big men and wing players. Derrick Jones would be an excellent addition to the perimeter.
Jones is another player that would thrive in transition with the Orange. The 6'6" southpaw has impressive athleticism and consistently jumps over defenders to dunk on their heads. The thought of him running up and down Jim Boeheim Court with Kaleb Joseph is extremely enticing.
Jones is lean, to say the least, at 180 pounds, but he will have plenty of time between now and his freshman year of college to bulk up. When he does, he could have Jerami Grant-like athleticism. For a team desperately looking for perimeter scoring, Jones could be the centerpiece of Boeheim's bunch in 2015.
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