Syracuse Basketball: 2022 class ‘best we’ve ever had,’ Jim Boeheim says

Syracuse basketball, Jim Boeheim (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Jim Boeheim (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

I love Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim. Always have, always will.

Sure, he can be stodgy and snarky. He’s made some mistakes, as we all have in life. Yet Boeheim is always, always brutally honest and candid, and he never seems to be blowing smoke.

So I take Boeheim at his word. You see, Boeheim knows just about as much about the sport of basketball – both at the collegiate and pro levels – as anyone else out there on the planet.

When it comes to the Orange, a team that he’s coached for 45 years, soon to 46, Boeheim knows more than anybody. Period. End of story.

Therefore, when Boeheim makes a big-time, grand, huge proclamation about his five-member class in the 2022 recruiting cycle, I believe him. Even if the majority of ‘Cuse fans out there may not.

Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim praises his 2022 class.

The Orange held its annual media day on Friday. During this event, Boeheim said his squad’s 2022 cycle is “the best we’ve ever had,” according to a tweet from’s Donna Ditota.

Wow. I can only imagine what a large contingent of my fellow ‘Cuse fanatics has to think about that statement from Boeheim. Thanks for the hot take to get the debate going, Coach!

Here’s my perspective. First of all, Boeheim didn’t say the 2022 class was the highest-ranked one ever on the Hill. He said it was the best one ever. There’s a distinction.

The 2022 cycle landed its fifth member when four-star wing Chris Bunch recently picked the Orange over Washington and Rutgers. That verbal commitment gives Syracuse basketball a 2022 commit at each position, making it extremely balanced.

What’s more, these 2022 players are likely to play in Central New York for multiple years, unless they transfer out at some juncture. The goal is to contend for Atlantic Coast Conference and national championships, and this kind of class make-up is a step in the right direction toward that.

So the Dukes and Kentuckys of the world can land all the five-star prospects, but in recent years, the college teams that have cut down the nets in early April are primarily composed of veteran players.

Thus, if this 2022 five-member class sticks together, it could fare quite well on the Hill, in my opinion. There is no five-star, top-20 prospect in this class. There is no Carmelo Anthony in this class.

Bunch is a top-60 prospect. I could see him entering the top 50. The other 2022 commits are four-star shooting guard Justin Taylor, four-star point guard Quadir Copeland, three-star power forward Maliq Brown and three-star power forward/center Peter Carey.

Taylor hovers around the top 60, according to some recruiting services. Copeland is a top-75 player, IMO. Brown and Carey are both vastly under-ranked right now. They’re both top-100 guys.

Sure, over the past few decades, Boeheim and his assistants have hauled in recruiting classes with superstars in them. As we noted this past May in a piece, Syracuse basketball has secured top-10 cycles on multiple occasions over the last 15 years.

The ‘Cuse 2022 class isn’t likely to be as highly rated as some of these other ones. I get that. But this doesn’t mean the 2022 cycle can’t be the best of them.

Jim Boeheim thinks so. I’ll go with what he says.

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