Syracuse basketball landing an elite 2022 trio was ‘close to a reality’

Former Syracuse basketball four-star target Roddy Gayle Jr. had some interesting things to say in an interview.

Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim recently said on a Zoom call that he hasn’t committed to anybody in the 2022 class, and I wholeheartedly believe him. However, a former Orange target in that cycle is offering up some interesting thoughts.

Four-star shooting guard Roddy Gayle Jr., who had the ‘Cuse in his top six before selecting Ohio State a week ago, said in an interview with Zach Schumaker that he, 2022 five-star point guard Dior Johnson and 2022 four-star guard Chance Westry thought hard about teaming up together on the Hill.

Gayle said that the three of them had a group chat about it, and when asked by Schumaker whether it was feasible that he, Johnson and Westry could all end up in an Orange uniform, Gayle replied that it was “definitely close to a reality.”

Now, Boeheim might have a different opinion here, but it’s still worth passing along Gayle’s thoughts, even if it’s a moot point at this juncture.

Gayle is off to the Buckeyes, Johnson recently announced on social media that he was de-committing from Syracuse basketball, and recruiting analysts at this point don’t have a lot of optimism about the ‘Cuse securing the services of Westry, who now plays high-school ball on the West Coast.

A trio of top-flight 2022 players strongly considered coming to Syracuse basketball together, one of the prospects says.

What could have been is always a tough proposition to stomach, especially if that possibility may have entailed Johnson, Westry and Gayle.

Johnson is ranked as high as No. 3 nationally in the 2022 class, per 247Sports. Westry is a top-40 prospect according to the majority of recruiting Web sites. And both 247Sports and Rivals.com place Gayle at No. 54 overall within this cycle.

After Johnson said that he verbally committed to the Orange back in February, he noted in numerous media reports that he planned to bring other stellar recruits with him to Syracuse basketball.

Obviously, Westry and Gayle would have fit that mold. But Gayle is off to the Big Ten Conference, Johnson has reopened his recruitment, and who knows what’s in store for Westry.

As we’ve noted in several columns of late, though, the Orange is still pursuing multiple really talented players in the 2022 class, and Boeheim is hopeful that his program will pick up a few of these targets.