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Syracuse Basketball: Top centers in transfer portal, per recruiting analyst

Syracuse basketball (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

With 6-foot-10 sophomore Frank Anselem en route to Georgia, I believe that Syracuse basketball is a tad thin, depth-wise, at the center position heading into the 2022-23 season.

Junior center Jesse Edwards, who got injured this past February, is returning to the Hill. And the Orange does have several big men on its current roster, if you include the 2022 class, who can suit up at power forward or play spot minutes at center as Edwards’ back-up.

However, with two scholarships available to the ‘Cuse coaching staff in 2022-23, I’d feel a bit better about the roster for the upcoming campaign if the Orange had another center who has already played at the Division I level.

Naturally, though, players in the transfer portal are assumably seeking out more playing time, and I’m not sure how much ‘Cuse coaches can offer, given Edwards is back.

I wonder if Syracuse basketball coaches continue to pursue a center out of the portal.

Not too long ago, the Orange was one of two finalists for Syracuse-area native Quincy Ballard, but the 7-foot sophomore center decided to transfer from fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Florida State to Wichita State.

In any event, On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw recently published an interesting list of what he believes are some of the top centers around the country who are in the transfer portal, at least at the time of his story.

I think there are some intriguing names on Shaw’s list, although I wouldn’t pretend to know whether Syracuse basketball is interested in any of these transfers, or whether these transfers have any interest in the ‘Cuse.

But I did want to pass along Shaw’s article. Orange fans who closely follow the team’s recruiting efforts will recognize at least a few of these names.

At No. 9 on this list is Akok Akok, a 6-foot-10 power forward/center from Connecticut.

I haven’t seen any mentions of there being mutual interest among Syracuse basketball and Akok, a junior who was recruited by the ‘Cuse as a member of the 2019 cycle.

Rated as five stars and a top-25 overall prospect in this class according to 247Sports, Akok had Syracuse basketball in his top five before picking UConn. He went to the Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn.

Two other centers in the transfer portal whom I’ve seen discussed by Orange fans on social media and in chat rooms are Osun Osunniyi, a 6-foot-10 senior, and Qudus Wahab, a 6-foot-11 junior.

As a prospect in the 2018 cycle, Osunniyi had the ‘Cuse in his final three, along with Georgetown and St. Bonaventure, but he chose the Bonnies. He, too, went to the Putnam Science Academy, and Shaw has him at No. 2 on his list.

At No. 7 in Shaw’s ratings was Wahab, who played two seasons at Georgetown and then suited up at Maryland a stanza ago. Wahab, out of the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va., was deemed a four-star player in the 2019 cycle, according to some recruiting services.

He had Syracuse basketball among his final five, but ultimately Wahab picked those pesky Georgetown Hoyas before then moving on to the Terrapins.

To reiterate, it’s highly unlikely that these aforementioned transfers or other centers on Shaw’s list would consider the Orange, because they want a ton of playing time and the ‘Cuse has Edwards, but hey, you never know!

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Projected starting rotation for the 2022-23 season. dark