What to Expect From The Newest Men’s Basketball Recruits
Last season Coach Boeheim’s Orange finished with an overall record of 18-14 and finished at .500 in the conference at 10-10. The Orange were able to end their season on a high note, dominating the UNC Tar Heels 81-53 in the ACC Tournament. A rematch against their next opponent the Louisville Cardinals was unfortunately cancelled, due to what was the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The upcoming 2020-2021 season was up for debate, but reluctantly the NCAA announced this past Wednesday that the men’s and women’s seasons are a green light to go. Since the general student body will be heading home for Thanksgiving, the NCAA felt comfortable starting basketball up around November 25.
It is nice the Orange will be back practicing in the Carmelo K. Anthony Center and battling in the newly renovated Carrier Dome, under the commands of Coach Boeheim. The Orange will unfortunately have to go this season without their star player Elijah Hughes, as he is predicted to go in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Orange were able to bring in transfer Alan Griffin from Illinois, who will be a nice fill in for Hughes. Griffin’s immediate transfer forms were accepted by the NCAA, making him eligible to play for the Orange this upcoming season.
New additions are important to the future of Syracuse’s basketball. Last season the Orange were able to bring in five new recruits who will be returning to the team this year. Out of those five, John Bol-Ajak did not play as a Redshirt Freshmen, but will be back on the floor this year displaying his talents. Joining a very crowded front court, Bol-Ajak is one of four centers on the team, standing at 6-foot-10. He will be able to learn a lot from Senior Bourama Sidibe, who led the team in rebounds and blocks last season.
This year’s roster was able to land four new recruits who will be looking to make good first impressions in their Syracuse uniforms. One of the additions to the recruiting class of 2020 is Frank Anselem, who is a 6-foot-10 center from Lagos, Nigeria. Anselem is a three-star recruit. As in incoming Freshmen, Anselem will need to work hard to earn his minutes. He is a big body with a 7-foot-5 long long wingspan, which will be beneficial for the Orange when they play zone defense. His athletic ability will allow Anselem to produce for the Orange on both sides of the floor.
The Orange were able to land even more height in four-star recruit Woody Newton. From Baltimore, MD, standing at 6-foot-9, Newton is a combo forward who can play both the three or four position. The potential that Newton could have on this team is what really stands out for him. His athleticism on the floor and defensive skills will be very beneficial to the Orange’s defensive game. Newton has the capability to guard any player from the one through five position.
The Orange were able to add some important shooters to their roster as well. The addition of 6-foot-5 small forward Chaz Owens was a nice signing for the program. Son of former Syracuse great Billy Owens, Chaz is set to make his own legacy with the program. From Blue Bell, PA, Owens will be the second player on the roster whose father used to play for the Orange, joining Buddy Boeheim.
Owens is an under the radar type of player who has way more to offer than what meets the eye. His abilities to play around the rim and to shoot from beyond the arc is what makes him so versatile. Owens is the 13 and final player on the roster to receive a scholarship to play for Syracuse. This is the maximum number of scholarships allowed in the NCAA per team for Division I basketball.
One of the bigger names recruited by the Orange is guard Kadary Richmond. A 6-foot-5 combo guard, from Brooklyn, NY, Richmond will be heavily relied upon to handle the ball and could be the primary reserve at either the one or two position. Richmond was ranked in ESPN’s Top 100 Recruiting Rankings at #91. He is another four-star recruit who really makes his defenders play up tight on him. His ability to hit the three-pointer is complimented well with his aggressive drives to the rim. Richmond is a very crafty player who will fit right into the Orange’s system.
Planning for the future is a big part of Syracuse basketball’s success over the years. For the recruiting class of 2021, so far the Orange have been able to land Benny Williams. Williams is ranked high on ESPN’s top 100 list. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Williams has been upgraded to being a five-star recruit and is ranked inside the top-25 best players in America coming out of high school. He is your ideal perimeter wing scorer who will be beneficial to the Orange’s offensive side of the game.
It will be interesting to look out for the Orange’s newest recruits out there on the floor this season. With the NCAA’s announcement of basketball’s return, we are set up for what should be an exciting, but unique 2020-2021 season ahead.