Syracuse Basketball: What pledge by 4-star Lucas Taylor means for 'Cuse backcourt

Four-star transfer guard Lucas Taylor has committed to Syracuse basketball. We dissect what this means for the SU backcourt.
Four-star transfer guard Lucas Taylor has committed to Syracuse basketball. We dissect what this means for the SU backcourt. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

Georgia State junior guard Lucas Taylor, a four-star transfer in the portal, has committed to Syracuse basketball, he announced via his social media accounts on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Taylor had reportedly been on a visit to the Hill, I noted in another column on Tuesday.

First and foremost, a huge congrats and welcome from Orange Nation to Taylor, who has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

Taylor, since entering the transfer portal around mid-March, had received interest from numerous college squads, although recent reports had indicated that he had a high interest in the 'Cuse and an official visit could occur after the recruiting dead period ended on June 2.

Syracuse basketball coaches got Taylor to Central New York early this week, and he has pledged to the Orange, which is a big boost for the team's backcourt ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Syracuse basketball has landed four-star transfer guard Lucas Taylor.

Taylor, who is from Raleigh, N.C., averaged 30.7 minutes, 14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest as a junior in the 2023-24 season for Sun Belt Conference member Georgia State. As a junior, he connected on 40.7 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 78.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Taylor, who began his college career at fellow Atlantic Coast Conference school Wake Forest, checked in as four stars, No. 200 overall and No. 38 at shooting guard in national transfer rankings from 247Sports at the time of this writing.

With Taylor on board, this off-season, the Orange staff has secured four college transfers who are all rated four stars by at least one recruiting service. The other three are Hofstra junior point guard Jaquan Carlos, Delaware senior forward Jyáre Davis, and Colorado senior center Eddie Lampkin Jr.

This off-season, the 'Cuse has seen seven players from its 2023-24 roster hit the portal, while sophomore point guard Judah Mintz is pursuing a pro career.

Five guys from the squad's line-up a season ago are expected to return. The Orange's 2024 class now includes two high school seniors and four college transfers. This means that the Syracuse basketball staff, ahead of 2024-25, still has two open scholarships remaining.

For the next term, the 'Cuse backcourt now looks like this:
Sophomore J.J. Starling
Sophomore Chance Westry (he can likely also play small forward)
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Cuffe Jr.
Incoming freshman Elijah Moore, a four-star shooting guard from New York City
Hofstra junior point guard Jaquan Carlos
Georgia State junior guard Lucas Taylor

This backcourt, on paper, is loaded with depth. Starling can play point guard or shooting guard. Westry can suit up at guard or small forward out on the wing. I assume that Taylor can play either guard spot.

Moore is a lethal 3-point specialist. So, too, is sophomore small forward Chris Bell. Carlos hit on 34.4 percent from deep a season ago, while Taylor made 35.4 percent from the perimeter.

Getting Taylor is huge for several reasons. He's a veteran and experienced player. Taylor further bolsters the team's depth in the backcourt. He is solid from beyond the arc. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, he's boasts a strong frame and good length.

We'll see if Orange coaches end up filling their two remaining scholarship slots this off-season, but securing a pledge from Taylor is a terrific get, particularly this late in the recruiting cycle.

I think the team's backcourt will prove a significant weapon in 2024-25. I'd still love to see Syracuse basketball coaches land one more big man who can play power forward and center for additional front-court depth.

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