Syracuse Basketball: Kamari Lands pledge can kick-start elite 2022 class

Coming off a strong Sweet 16 run in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and the verbal commitment by 2022 five-star wing Kamari Lands earlier this week, Syracuse basketball has some nice momentum at this juncture.

Sure, the team has lost some players to the transfer portal, but the ‘Cuse is picking up guys there, too. And with Lands, a top-20 overall prospect according to ESPN, now on board, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this helps facilitate more elite high-school players pledging their services to the Orange in the near future.

I’ve been saying this for months now. Even after 2022 five-star point guard Dior Johnson rescinded his verbal commitment to Syracuse basketball toward the end of last year, I still felt that the ‘Cuse would ultimately be in the position to notch one of the top 2022 classes around the country.

Following Lands’ pledge to suit up on the Hill, I feel even better about that prognostication. Other recruits I’m sure are aware of Lands’ commitment to the Orange, and my fingers are crossed that this opens the floodgates, so to speak, for the ‘Cuse 2022 recruiting cycle.

With Kamari Lands in tow, the Syracuse basketball 2022 class is going to add others and shine.

Orange coaches continue to pursue a range of excellent 2022 prospects at a variety of positions, and if the ‘Cuse gets a few of these studs, this class is going to be ridiculously good.

We recently penned a column detailing the friendship of two Syracuse basketball 2022 four-star targets, power forward Maliq Brown with the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va., and wing Justin Taylor out of the St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Va.

Taylor has also been communicating about the Orange 2022 class with Syracuse basketball 2021 five-star commit Benny Williams from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

The ‘Cuse is also seemingly in the mix for 2022 high-school stars such as five-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield from Scotland Campus in Scotland, Pa., four-star point guard J.J. Starling with the La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., four-star small forward Chris Bunch with De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., and three-star point guard Quadir Copeland out of the Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J.

Plus, Syracuse basketball appears to be in at least decent shape with four-star combo guard Chance Westry at the Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif., four-star center Donovan Clingan with Bristol Central High School in Bristol, Conn., and four-star wing Ty Rodgers out of Grand Blanc Community High School in Grand Blanc, Mich.

That’s, by my count, nine stellar prospects. A few other 2022 players would be a dream for the Orange to pick up, but I’m not getting a great feeling about them.

These prospects include five-star forward Jarace Walker with the IMG Academy, five-star combo guard Zion Cruz at The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J., and four-star wing Yann Farrell out of the Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Lands, a junior at Prolific Prep in Napa Valley, Calif., said in several media reports after his commitment to Syracuse basketball that he plans to recruit other players to Central New York, although Lands declined to identify anyone by name.

It’s also important to point out that some of the Orange’s other 2022 targets who compete at the same position as Lands could look elsewhere now that he’s committed to the ‘Cuse.

Regardless, mark my words. Syracuse basketball will end up with one of the best 2022 classes nationwide when all is said and done. And Lands is helping to get that process started.