Syracuse Basketball: Grad-transfer misses aren’t a big deal at all

Syracuse basketball has missed out on a pair of graduate transfers in recent days, but these developments are absolutely unsurprising.

Syracuse basketball target Patrick Tapé, a graduate-transfer center from Columbia, selected Duke over the Orange and several other schools on Tuesday. Another grad transfer, forward Seth Towns of Harvard, went with Ohio State over the Blue Devils last Saturday, but he had previously considered the ‘Cuse.

Okay, so Syracuse has witnessed two talented prospects opt for places other than the Hill. Naturally, that has led some fans to criticize the Orange’s recruiting efforts.

If you think that the ‘Cuse program is in a state of decline and that Syracuse has squandered its recruiting edge, I respect your opinion. There is certainly validity to each point in a larger context.

However, to say that head coach Jim Boeheim and his assistants are awful at recruiting based solely on the decisions by Tapé and Towns, well, I believe that this perspective is short-sighted and unfair.

Here’s why.

For one, Towns grew up in Columbus, where the Buckeyes’ campus is located. Ohio State is a strong group within the excellent Big Ten Conference, so you truly can’t blame him for choosing the Buckeyes.

As for Tapé, he is originally from Charlotte, N.C., and various media reports indicated that Tapé picked Duke, which resides in Durham, N.C., in part to get closer to home.

Plus, while this stings for the Orange losing out to an Atlantic Coast Conference foe, the Blue Devils are a perennial power with a Hall of Fame head coach who has captured five national titles and advanced to a dozen Final Fours.

Therefore, it’s no surprise whatsoever that Tapé is heading to Duke, and Towns is going to Ohio State. Furthermore, to surmise that the ‘Cuse stinks at recruiting, and merely citing these two cases, is a premise lacking sufficient supporting evidence.

Syracuse, as it presently stands, is expected to have about 10 guys on scholarship entering the fall. Boeheim has gone on record saying that he doesn’t anticipate additional changes to the Orange roster, but there does remain plenty of options available in the transfer portal.

For example, the ‘Cuse has reached out to transfer Joshua Morgan, a freshman center at Long Beach State. Yet Syracuse does have a trio of centers currently in its line-up, and junior Bourama Sidibe performed admirably toward the tail-end of the 2019-20 campaign.

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The Orange is a tad light at the guard position, and perhaps the ‘Cuse will look at bringing on another wing. Or maybe a center. Who knows at this juncture. Let’s simply see how everything shakes out.

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