recently lost sophomore center Frank Anselem to the transfer portal, leaving the..."/> recently lost sophomore center Frank Anselem to the transfer portal, leaving the..."/>

Former Syracuse basketball 4-star big-man recruit to transfer from Oregon

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball recently lost sophomore center Frank Anselem to the transfer portal, leaving the Orange with one scholarship available and two centers on the roster in junior Jesse Edwards and 2022 three-star commit Peter Carey.

It would seem reasonable to me that the ‘Cuse is looking for another center to back up Edwards, who is coming off an injury this past February, and supplement Carey, who most recently played for the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass.

The Orange is reportedly showing interest in 7-foot center Quincy Ballard, a sophomore at fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Florida State who has entered the transfer portal.

Per Mike Waters of, Ballard is planning on making a visit to the ‘Cuse in the near future. Ballard, a three-star prospect in the 2020 class and a Syracuse-area native, was recruited by the Orange out of high school.

But there might be another option for Syracuse basketball at center.

Franck Kepnang, a sophomore center at Pac-12 Conference member Oregon, recently said on Twitter that he, too, was entering into the NCAA’s transfer portal.

The 6-foot-11 Kepnang appeared in 35 games for the Ducks during the 2021-22 campaign, averaging 14.5 minutes, 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest while connecting on 57.5 percent from the field, according to ESPN.

Kepnang was a stand-out for the Westtown School in West Chester, Pa. He was a four-star, top-50 player in the 2020 cycle who landed a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse in September of 2018.

Syracuse basketball redshirt sophomore big man John Bol Ajak, by the way, also attended the Westtown School. Throughout his recruiting process, Kepnang obtained offers from teams such as Texas A&M, Alabama, Kansas, Miami, Ohio State, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Georgetown, Connecticut, Dayton, Indiana, UCLA and Mike Hopkins-led Washington.

Now, might the Orange pursue Kepnang? A bunch of Syracuse basketball fans have chimed in on social media and in chat rooms that they’d love to see the ‘Cuse coaching staff make a run at Kepnang, who was rated as high as No. 25 overall and No. 5 at center within his class, per ESPN.

I’m not a recruiting analyst, but I think the issue here is that Kepnang may be in search of starter minutes, or at least more minutes, similar to Anselem.

And Edwards will be a senior in the upcoming 2022-23 term, but he can also come back for an extra year granted to college basketball players by the NCAA amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

So maybe it might not be all that realistic that the Orange could get Kepnang, but we’ll have to wait and see. He will have a ton of suitors, as those college teams that have already reached out to Kepnang include LSU, Ole Miss, Miami, Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Maryland, Ohio State and Washington, according to a tweet from Pro Insight director of scouting Andrew Slater.

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