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Syracuse Basketball: As a senior, big-man commit sure played like a 4-star

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

One of the main recruiting services recently released its final national rankings of the top-150 players in the 2022 class, and I perused this list to see if Syracuse basketball signee Maliq Brown made the cut.

The 6-foot-9 Brown, an outstanding power forward out of Virginia, unfortunately did not. This recruiting service, On3, does place him as a three-star player in the 2022 cycle, but Brown doesn’t have any other national rankings here.

That got me thinking. I often will preface in my columns that I’m not a recruiting analyst or a scout, and my opinions are just, well, my opinions.

But considering the stellar senior season that Brown boasted for the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va., I personally feel like he deserves a tad more respect on a national scale.

Then again, he’ll soon arrive on the Hill, recruiting rankings won’t mean much at all, and we’ll all get to watch him suit up for the ‘Cuse in the 2022-23 term, one where I think he can make an impact for the Orange.

Syracuse basketball 2022 commit Maliq Brown won multiple honors as a senior.

In the 2021-22 stanza, Brown was an integral force on the Blue Ridge School roster, as the Barons went 30-5 and claimed the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (“VISAA”) Division II championship.

At the end of the most recent term, MaxPreps rated the Blue Ridge School as the No. 4 team throughout all of Virginia. And Brown was spectacular, averaging 15.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.5 blocks per contest, per MaxPreps.

For his efforts, The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Va., named him as its All-Central Virginia Player of the Year in 2021-22. Brown was also the VISAA Division II Player of the Year and on the Division II All-State first squad.

Look, I get that maybe the competition level for Brown wasn’t as fierce as it was for other Syracuse basketball 2022 signees. That’s fair.

And maybe because he suited up in the Central Virginia market, recruiting analysts and scouts didn’t get to see him perform too frequently, and that could have made it more challenging for Brown to be super highly ranked.

For my money, though, Brown played like a four-star prospect in the 2022 class during his senior year.

So On3 didn’t have him in its top-150 rankings for 2022. The On3 Consensus, when I penned this column, rated him at No. 222 nationally, No. 41 at power forward and No. 11 in Virginia.

ESPN, when it recently published its final ratings for 2022, put Brown at three stars, No. 42 at power forward and No. 8 in Virginia., meanwhile, has him as three stars and No. 31 at his position.

Brown is also not in the national rankings, according to 247Sports, which has him as three stars, No. 54 at power forward and No. 9 in Virginia.

The industry-generated 247Sports Composite, at the time of this writing, rated Brown as three stars, No. 229 across the country, No. 49 at power forward and No. 9 in Virginia.

Again, in a few months’ time, when the 2022-23 season gets underway for Syracuse basketball, the recruiting rankings of its six 2022 commits will be pretty much irrelevant.

Brown, I feel, is going to surprise some Orange fans and national pundits alike by doing really positive, impactful things in his freshman campaign for the ‘Cuse.

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