Syracuse basketball picked up a big commitment on Tuesday in 2022 small forward Kamari Lands. Lands, a top 40 player in the 2022 class by most accounts, picked the Orange in part because they were his favorite team.
"It's always been my favorite school growing up," Lands said. "Always watching the people that came out of there like Melo, Michael Carter-Williams, Malachi Richardson, people like that. I've always been a fan of watching them and they've always had the type of player I want to be moving forward. Those wing scoring playmaking type of players. I know that at my height and my size, pushing myself to be a better wing and being able to be an elite wing will separate me from everyone else. I know Syracuse is always wing heavy and pushes wing development. Those were great factors for me committing there.
"The reason I committed now is because it was the obvious choice for me, and going into my senior season I want to focus on developing myself. Not having to worry about the college recruiting as a burden on me."
Despite being from Indiana, Lands says Syracuse was his favorite team due to Carmelo Anthony being his older brother's favorite player. That led to watching a lot of Syracuse games and he fell in love with the program.
During the recruiting process, Lands spoke with the entire Syracuse coach. He formed a strong bond with all of them, including head coach Jim Boeheim.
"That was really important to me, forming a good relationship with the coach," Lands said. "Definitely talking to coach McNamara and coach Boeheim was important to me. I had a real good relationship with both of them and they definitely kept it real. Definitely said what I needed to hear to make me want to go to that school."
The role for Lands will be the follow in the footsteps of long, athletic, scoring wings that have guard skills and can play multiple positions.
"I can definitely play the one, the two or the three spot," Lands said. "Just working on being a better player going forward. Being able to facilitate and make plays off the dribble. Being an impact guy right away as a true freshman. That's what I want to do.
"I'm a 6-8 wing. I can play-make. I can score. I can play defense. I can do whatever you need me to do. I want to win. I'll definitely bring that swag for scoring and playmaking. Definitely my length and IQ for the game in the zone. Can get out and make steals. I definitely think I can impact the zone well."
Lands added that he has a few other class of 2022 players that he plans to help Syracuse recruit, but says he wants to keep those private for the time being.