Former Syracuse basketball commit Darius Bazley revealed that SU was his ‘dream school’, but still opted for the G-League.
If you thought you heard the last of Darius Bazley last week, you were wrong. The former Syracuse basketball commit will be in the news for a long time, whether you like it or not.
The consensus top-10 recruit who initially signed on with the Syracuse Orange reneged for an opportunity in the NBA G-League. Something no other high school player has ever attempted.
Bazley spoke recently with The Players’ Tribune, about his decision to skip Syracuse for the G-League:
“But what I should clarify, and I think this is true of a lot of recruits, is that as I accumulated more offers from great programs, I looked at all of them the same way: As a one-year stop before declaring for the NBA draft.”
This is nothing surprising, honestly this is something SU fans accepted knowing Bazley’s pedigree. But instead of a possible one-and-done, Syracuse is getting one-and-none.
To make matters worse, later in the story Bazley claimed Syracuse was ‘his dream school’. Any Syracuse sports fan has heard this phrase before, you don’t have to look back that far in the vault to cite former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone saying something eerily similar.
Of course soon after making that statement, he jettisoned for a better opportunity with the Buffalo Bills. At least he was here for a few years I suppose.
Here is Bazley commenting on his mindset when he was offered by Syracuse via the Players’ Tribune:
“Honestly, I viewed it as an honor just to be recruited there. Coach Boeheim is a legend. The facilities are unreal. And there are plenty of amazing basketball players who took their skills to the next level after playing there. That’s all to say, I really think I could have thrived there, which is why I was so excited when I got my offer.
But a few months ago, I was having a conversation with my mom and one of my coaches, and they brought up this notion of playing professionally for a year before entering the NBA draft. At first, I basically dismissed it entirely. I just had trouble picturing myself doing that. A little time passed, then we all had another conversation, and for the first time the G League was brought up.”
It seems like the key influences in his life were the genesis of this idea to skip a college education for a chance playing professional basketball. That’s where I have beef, I understand the kid wants to do what’s right for him, but you need to have a backup plan. What if this ‘G-League’ thing doesn’t work out?
I mean that’s a real possibility. No one in history has ever attempted it, so you could say there’s a high likelihood this could be a colossal failure potentially.
Another issue I have is that Bazley says, “Instead of taking intro classes and going to parties, I’d spend every day battling for minutes against seasoned professionals.”
Boeheim has already revealed the differences in practice time from what the G-League can offer, to what Syracuse could’ve. Insert the Summer practices plus the in-season practices before he can even suit up in November.
This is a risky endeavor and Syracuse fans will be left with two feelings. Primarily, what could’ve been.
“That being said, I’m always going to pull for the Orange. I’m hopeful that my spot is given to someone who can go there and help that team win a national championship.”
I’m sure in late Spring, the Orange will be able to give that scholarship opportunity to a player who isn’t a five-star recruit or transcendent talent that can possibly help the Cuse hoist a second National Championship.
If you didn’t pick up the heavy sarcasm, consider this, it’s unlikely whoever the Orange are able to bring in can help. Grad-transfers are tricky, sometimes they work, most of the time they don’t. This previous basketball season was built on camaraderie, something that wasn’t as prevalent with two grad-transfers (Andrew White and John Gillon) the year before.
While the second feeling for the Orange will center around the idea, ‘well if this is his personality, we didn’t want that in our locker room.’ It has been proven with the test of time, if you’re talented enough, anything can be overlooked. Even an egotistical mindset or bad attitude, regardless as Jim Boeheim has said previously, this team always seems to figure it out.