With Syracuse's 2013 class wrapped up, Jim Boeheim and the Orange staff have started to look towards the future. That includes 2014 point guard Kaleb Joseph who has been having a successful junior season so far.
"The season's going good," Joseph explained. "We started off like 17-3 or something like that. We're playing well as of late. We've beat a couple of tough teams. Individually, I'm playing pretty well. I'm scoring the ball well and am finding my teammates. They keep knocking down shots so that makes it easy for me. I can't complain so far."
Joseph is continuing to improve as a player. He works everyday to improve his game to take it to the next level.
"I think my consistency with my three pointer," Joseph admitted. "Everybody needs to have that in their game to at least keep the defense honest. I definitely think consistency with that. Being a guard, you can never be too good with your handle. So I would definitely say those two things. Also, my body. I need to keep hitting the gym to keep getting stronger."
That hard work to go along with his talent has led to interest from a lot of major programs. That includes a school he grew up watching with two of his favorite players.
"Some of the schools that have offered are Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, Maryland, Tennessee, Kansas State, West Virginia, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette," Joseph claimed. "Some others that are recruiting me are Ohio State, Duke, Florida State, and schools like that.
"Right now I don't have any favorites. Growing up, Syracuse was my dream school when I was in middle school. I loved watching them play. Jonny Flynn, I was always a big fan of his. Eric Devendorf too, I was a big fan of his. I really liked him. I think he was one of the guys I became a fan of early on."
When a team he grew up watching called to offer him a scholarship, it was an exciting moment for Joseph. Despite that great feeling, he knows he can't stop working.
"It was just the fact that all of this hard work is paying off," the Ashburnham (MA) product said. "It shows that work isn't going unnoticed. It was definitely very humbling. To get that recognition from coaches that I've watched for a long time, it just feels good. But at the end of the day, you have to keep working hard and use that to motivate yourself everyday."
A familiar name popped up with who's handling Joseph's recruiting within the Orange staff. Assistant coach Mike Hopkins seems to handle most of the top prospects Syracuse is after.
"Mike Hopkins is recruiting me from Syracuse," the 4-star floor general said. "When he came down after he watched me play a game, me and my coach sat down with him. He was saying that he loved my athleticism. He's was saying I have that ‘freaky stuff.' He was saying I have that watery look to my game. He thinks I can be a pro. He keeps telling me that the last four guards he recruited like Dion Waiters and Michael Carter-Williams that they've all been lottery picks. Just that I can stay in that line and add to the list."
The major question with every Syracuse recruit is how they would transition into the zone. Joseph believes he would fit in quite well.
"I love it," he remarked. "Obviously, my whole life I've been playing man. I'm definitely a great on-ball defender. But I have a really long wingspan so I think I would go great in that zone."
When evaluating which program is the best fit, a number of factors will play a key role for the rising junior. Most importantly, is the relationship he has with the coaches.
"Relationship with the coaching staff is really important to me," he said. "Player development because it's all about getting better. That's really it. Wherever I have a good feel for the coaches and know I'm going to get better as a player. I want to see what coaches come out to see me during AAU season and the live period."
As his recruitment picks up, visits are critical. While Joseph has not visited Syracuse yet due to a weather issue, he plans on visiting the Orange soon.
"I was planning on visiting Syracuse and coach Hopkins when they played St. John's," Joseph recalled. "But I wasn't able to make it because of the big snow storm. I have visited Boston College and Providence because they're close schools. But I am going to get out to Syracuse at some point."