electing to enter his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal electing to enter his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal

Syracuse basketball coaches appear focused on landing a back-up center

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports) /

With sophomore center Frank Anselem electing to enter his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal, and junior starting center Jesse Edwards coming off an injury this past February, it seems that Syracuse basketball coaches may be trying to pick up an additional center ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Given the recent decision by senior forward Cole Swider to end his career on the Hill, along with other prior departures and the addition of four-star guard Judah Mintz to the Orange’s 2022 recruiting class, by my count, the ‘Cuse presently has 12 players on scholarship for 2022-23, which means the squad has one scholarship available, unless there are further changes to the present roster.

Besides Edwards, who will be a senior, Syracuse basketball has one other center within the 2022-23 line-up in Orange 2022 three-star commit Peter Carey, who most recently suited up for the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass.

Carey, in my humble opinion, is a vastly underrated big man in the 2022 cycle who can play either power forward or center. However, he is an incoming freshman, and it does concern me a little bit if he would end up being the only back-up to Edwards in 2022-23.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Syracuse basketball brought another center on board.

As we noted not too long ago, the Orange coaching staff reportedly may have some interest in Quincy Ballard, a 7-foot sophomore center who has competed for Florida State over the past two stanzas but recently entered into the transfer portal.

As a three-star prospect in the 2020 class, ‘Cuse coaches recruited Ballard out of high school, and he played for Henninger High School in Syracuse and then the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.

A late riser in the 2020 cycle, Ballard ultimately picked the Seminoles over other finalists the Orange and Maryland in April of 2020. Cincinnati and N.C. State had rounded out his group of five finalists.

Taylor Eldridge on kansas.com had previously reported that Syracuse basketball was “in pursuit of Ballard.” Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Mike Waters of Syracuse.com published an article saying that Ballard plans to visit the Hill.

Waters’ piece is a subscriber-exclusive story, so we can’t share anything beyond the headline. However, SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister did note in his own article that Ballard will make an official visit to the ‘Cuse on Thursday, April 7.

Ballard, who has taken an official visit to Wichita State of late, only logged 4.7 minutes a game in the 2021-22 season, as well as just 3.3 minutes per contest in the 2020-21 campaign, per his bio on the ESPN Web site.

Despite those small amounts of run as a freshman and a sophomore, he does have some experience playing for an Atlantic Coast Conference squad, and I would assume he has some familiarity with the Syracuse basketball program, given that Orange coaches recruited him a few years back.

It remains to be seen how much mutual interest there is among the ‘Cuse and Ballard, although I find it hard to believe that he would take an official visit to the Orange campus if he didn’t have a decent level of interest in Syracuse basketball.

In recent days, I’ve read a lot of comments from other ‘Cuse fans on social media and in chat rooms regarding Ballard. Some fans are encouraged about the potential of him joining the Orange, while other fans would prefer other possible options at center via the transfer portal.

We’ll of course continue to monitor the involvement of Syracuse basketball coaches in Ballard’s recruiting process.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Benny Williams, veteran guards returning is big time. dark