took an official visit to Syracuse basketball this past..."/> took an official visit to Syracuse basketball this past..."/>

Syracuse Basketball: ‘It’s going to be fun if I go there,’ 7-foot-4 center says

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports) /

Florida State big-man transfer Naheem McLeod took an official visit to Syracuse basketball this past weekend, and he says that the trip to Central New York went well.

The Orange coaching staff hosted McLeod, a 7-foot-4 sophomore center from fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Florida State, on an official visit last weekend. He previously said that after he entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, Syracuse basketball was one of the first teams to reach out to him.

The ‘Cuse is looking for another center to round out that position group ahead of the 2023-24 campaign. The Orange has three centers on its 2023-24 roster, but they are all inexperienced. And senior center Jesse Edwards transferred to Big 12 Conference squad West Virginia last month.

McLeod is from Philadelphia, a city and metropolitan region that Syracuse basketball coaches often recruit hard. In the 2022-23 stanza for FSU, McLeod played in 28 games, averaging 13.1 minutes, 3.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest, while connecting on 54.7 percent from the field but just 40.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Syracuse basketball seems like a significant contender for Florida State transfer center Naheem McLeod.

In an interview with SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister, McLeod said his official visit to the ‘Cuse campus went well, as he bonded with Orange coaches as well as Syracuse basketball players.

"“The visit was good,” McLeod said to McAllister. “Got a chance to meet a lot of the guys. The coaching staff welcomed me with open arms. Talked to me about their vision for me at Syracuse. I already knew a couple of the guys coming in, so I’m not playing with anybody I don’t know or whose game I’m not familiar with. So it’s going to be fun if I go there.”"

McLeod previously told McAllister that after he hit the transfer portal last month, Syracuse basketball was the second school to reach out to him. He’s heard from a ton of high-major programs, by the way.

Per the SyracuseOnSI article, McLeod will take a visit to Mississippi State this Wednesday. McLeod isn’t sure at this time if he will take more visits after that. If he doesn’t go on additional visits, one has to assume that the ‘Cuse has an excellent chance to prevail in McLeod’s recruitment.

On his official visit to Syracuse basketball, the first ‘Cuse player who McLeod talked to was Edwards. “He gave me a hug and told me that Syracuse was right. Their vision for me, it helped him out because he went from averaging 1.3 points to 14 or 16. Each year he got better. Being that focal point in the middle will help out a lot.”

McLeod noted Chance Westry and J.J. Starling, two talented freshman guards who are transferring to the Orange from Auburn and Notre Dame, respectively. McLeod is also high on the existing roster, including sophomore forward Benny Williams.

“I think our athleticism and the speed that Syracuse wants to play at would be right for me,” McLeod said.

Next. Syracuse basketball reaches out to 4-star, top-60 prospect, a top-10 center. dark