Syracuse Basketball: 4-star big man planned to visit but picks Big East foe

Syracuse basketball fans, myself included, were excited when the news recently broke that fast-rising 2023 big man Drew Fielder was planning to take an official visit to the Hill in the coming days.

However, in somewhat of a surprise, at least as far as the timing goes, the 6-foot-9 Fielder has made his commitment announcement, and he’s headed to Big East Conference member Providence.

Throughout his recruitment, the four-star power forward/center acquired nearly 30 scholarship offers in total. The Orange coaching staff offered him at the end of August.

This past weekend, the top-100 prospect Fielder took an official visit to Providence. He had also recently officially visited Southern California.

And according to a recent article from Bryce Kelly of SyracuseOnSI, Fielder was eyeing an official visit to the ‘Cuse on September 23. Although his pledge to the Friars is a verbal commitment as of now, I would assume Fielder will not end up making a trip to Central New York later this week.

Syracuse basketball has missed out on yet another 2023 big man in four-star Drew Fielder.

To date, as we recently documented, the Orange coaching staff has offered more than 20 prospects in the senior class, and the team doesn’t yet have a commitment in the 2023 cycle.

In early September, long-time Syracuse basketball recruit Joseph Estrella, a 2023 four-star big man, selected Tennessee over the ‘Cuse and Iowa.

Immediately prior to Fielder’s commitment decision, which he revealed on social media, a couple of national analysts on the 247Sports Web site and the On3 Web site had projected that Fielder would end up making Providence his future collegiate destination.

The Friars, a season ago, were one of the best teams not only in the Big East, but also throughout the country. Providence earned a No. 4 seed in the Big Dance this past spring, falling by only a few points to No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Kansas in the Sweet 16.

Providence’s head coach, Ed Cooley, is one of my favorite coaches in all of college basketball, and I believe that he’s supremely underrated on a national scale.

Striking out on Fielder, who is an Idaho native, stings. While Syracuse basketball only recently offered him, Fielder had said in several recent interviews that the ‘Cuse was recruiting him hard, along with other suitors such as USC, Providence, Iowa, Miami, TCU and Nebraska.

Fielder plays ball on the west coast. He is a senior at the Southern California Academy in Northridge, Calif., and Fielder proved a tremendous stock-riser in grassroots basketball this spring and summer for the Los Angeles-based West Coast Elite in the Under Armour Association league.

The fall recruiting period recently opened up, enabling college coaches, analysts, scouts and others to watch high-school players in person at off-campus settings like open gyms.

Per media reports, Syracuse basketball was in attendance lately for Fielder at the Southern California Academy.

With Fielder now off the table, Orange coaches presumably are turning their attention to another 2023 big man, William Patterson. The 7-foot power forward/center, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, was offered by the ‘Cuse in late August around the time that he participated in the Orange’s Elite Camp.

Patterson reportedly received a visit from Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim not too long ago amid the fall recruiting period being underway.

According to a recent report, Patterson could make his college announcement in the coming weeks, and he will spend his senior season at The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J., after transferring there from the Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, Md.