Syracuse Basketball: 7-foot-4 transfer center to decide, ‘Cuse in great spot

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat) /

Florida State big-man transfer Naheem McLeod says he’s ready to make his commitment announcement in the near future, and I believe that Syracuse basketball has an excellent shot to prevail for him.

McLeod, a 7-foot-4 sophomore center from fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Florida State, took an official visit to the Hill last weekend. In interviews following that trip, he had a lot of positive things to say about his official visit, the ‘Cuse coaching staff, the Orange’s 2023-24 roster, and the JMA Wireless Dome, among other things.

When McLeod entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, he said that Syracuse basketball was one of the first schools to reach out to him. He has also said that the Orange coaching staff has been watching him since his early playing days in high school.

On Saturday, McLeod sent out a tweet that he would be “committing next week.” Media reports had said that he was planning to take an official visit to Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State, but I don’t believe that trip occurred.

Syracuse basketball will know in the coming days whether it has landed FSU transfer center Naheem McLeod.

Additionally, he had recently said via his Twitter page that he was planning to reveal a top five soon, but I have yet to see that list. So to me, if McLeod is going to announce with having only officially visited the Orange, I’d honestly be surprised if the ‘Cuse wasn’t the choice when he revealed his future college decision.

I’d like to add here, though, that I don’t have any inside intel on McLeod’s recruiting process. This is just my personal take here given all of the circumstances surrounding his recruitment.

When I wrote this column on Sunday morning, I didn’t see any analyst predictions for McLeod between the 247Sports Web site, and the On3 Web site.

In the 2022-23 stanza for the Seminoles, the Philadelphia native played in 28 games, averaging 13.1 minutes, 3.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest, while hitting on 54.7 percent from the field.

Syracuse basketball coaches are looking to potentially bring on board another center for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign, given the departure of senior Jesse Edwards to West Virginia. The Orange has three centers on its roster for next season, but they are all inexperienced.

This off-season, per reports, ‘Cuse coaches have reached out to numerous centers, whether those in the transfer portal or high-school prospects. That list has reportedly included Michigan junior Hunter Dickinson, who held a Zoom meeting with the Orange but ultimately committed to Kansas, which won the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Among other center prospects, Syracuse basketball also reportedly reached out to 2023 four-star big man Papa Kante, who requested a release from his national letter of intent to Michigan and reopened his recruitment.

The top-60 Kante, a senior at the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn., was offered a scholarship by the ‘Cuse back in late August of 2021.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Orange’s 2024 class vaults into top 10 nationwide. dark