picked up a commitment from a four-star guard who is a top-35 player in the 202..."/> picked up a commitment from a four-star guard who is a top-35 player in the 202..."/>

Syracuse Basketball: Despite big de-commits & misses, 2022 class superb

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images) /

Even after Syracuse basketball picked up a commitment from a four-star guard who is a top-35 player in the 2022 class a few days ago, I still saw some of my fellow Orange fans chime in on social media that the ‘Cuse isn’t all that good at recruiting.

That the 2022 cycle for the Orange is an exception, not the norm. That until head coach Jim Boeheim hangs up his whistle, Syracuse basketball will not get back to where it was once – a recruiting power, a team annually ranked in the major top-25 polls, and a squad that, season after season, competes for conference championships and contends for extended Big Dance runs.

Boeheim knows when he will retire, and I imagine it will be in the next two to three years, at the most. But until that time, can’t we all just enjoy what Syracuse basketball coaches have done with their 2022 class?

I get that the 2021-22 campaign was a huge disappointment, as the Orange succumbed to its first losing campaign in Boeheim’s 46 years leading the ‘Cuse. From my perspective, though, the near-term future looks extremely bright.

Syracuse basketball topped off a terrific 2022 cycle by adding four-star Judah Mintz.

Many Orange fans, myself included, had high hopes for the team’s 2022 class dating back more than two years, when five-star point guard Dior Johnson gave a verbal commitment to the ‘Cuse.

But then Johnson reneged, ultimately pledging to Oregon. Syracuse basketball also had a verbal commitment from four-star wing Kamari Lands at one point, but he also backed out, then committed to Louisville.

Throughout this cycle, the ‘Cuse also pursued, to one degree or another, high-school prospects like four-star guard J.J. Starling, five-star guard Zion Cruz, four-star guard Chance Westry, five-star forward Jarace Walker, four-star guard Roddy Gayle Jr., four-star wing Ty Rodgers, five-star big man Kyle Filipowski and four-star center Donovan Clingan.

Syracuse basketball made the final lists for several of those 2022 players mentioned directly above, but they’re all headed elsewhere. It happens in the often fickle and heart-breaking recruiting world.

So, yeah, we all thought the 2022 cycle would turn out differently for the Orange, when the ‘Cuse initially had Johnson and Lands, and made the shortlists for Starling, Westry, Gayle and Clingan.

Yet even with those de-commitments and recruiting misses, Syracuse basketball is eyeing a six-member 2022 class that is, at present, rated in the top-10 to the top-15 overall according to some recruiting services.

Mintz, who recently picked the Orange over DePaul, Wake Forest and N.C. State, is a top-10 guard on a national scale in this cycle, per a couple of recruiting Web sites. The senior at the Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., is No. 35 across the country, according to ESPN.

Besides Mintz, Syracuse basketball already boasted a solid 2022 class. According to some recruiting services, four-star Chris Bunch is a top-20 small forward. Four-star Justin Taylor is a top-20 shooting guard/small forward.

Four-star Quadir Copeland is a top-20 point guard. Three-star Maliq Brown is a top-35 power forward. And three-star Peter Carey, from my perspective, is a massively underrated big man in 2022.

Oh, and even though his freshman term wasn’t what we all had hoped for, ‘Cuse forward Benny Williams did arrive on the Hill as a five-star, top-25 player in the 2021 class, according to Rivals.com.

Is Syracuse basketball recruiting at the same level that it was prior to moving from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14?

No, the Orange is not. But the ‘Cuse coaching staff has done an admirable job with its 2022 cycle. I believe that the future looks bright when it comes to Syracuse basketball recruiting efforts.

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