Five-star Syracuse target Tyus Battle committed to Michigan on Monday, much to the chagrin of Orange fans. But all is not lost as Syracuse is still involved with some talented point guard prospects in the 2016 class.
If the NCAA scholarship reduction does not decrease as the result of the appeal, Syracuse will only have one more slot available. That slot would likely be reserved for a point guard. Here are their options moving forward with Battle off the board.
It is important to note that Simmons and Gilbert both had offers from and were receiving heavy interest from Syracuse before Battle committed to the Wolverines.
Kobi Simmons is a top 10 player in the class and rated as the second best point guard in 2016. He is another long guard at 6-foot-5, is aggressive on the offensive end, attacks the rim well and is an elite scorer.
He’s a solid outside shooter but not as strong as some others. Despite that, his length and scoring acumen make him a coveted prospect. In addition to Syracuse, he has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Missouri, NC State, North Carolina, Ohio State and Texas.
Assistant Adrian Autry reached out to his camp shortly after the Battle news came down to reaffirm Syracuse’s interest. According to Simmons’ father, Syracuse remains high on his list. He thinks very highly of the Orange program and thinks he would be a good fit within their system.
He has not listed any favorites currently and is not nearing a decision anytime soon. The plan is to take some official visits between the summer and next winter with a decision coming during the second signing period in the spring of 2016. Syracuse is currently in line to receive one of those officials, per his father.
Alterique Gilbert was contacted by head coach Jim Boeheim less than three hours after Battle’s decision was made public. They are trying to set up an official visit sometime within the next two to three weeks.
The four-star prospect is not the typical bigger, longer point guard that Syracuse has recruited in the last several years. However, he is electric off the dribble and is a natural scorer.
Gilbert is lightning quick and is strong with the ball in his hands. He is also a strong outside shooter and can really fill it up offensively. Syracuse really likes him and compares him to a Jonny Flynn type of player.
”It means a lot to have Syracuse have interest in me,” Gilbert said. “To like my game. I definitely see myself being an Orangeman and going to Syracuse, but I’m taking my time with the whole recruiting process and looking things over with my family and making sure it’s the right fit for me.”
Jamal Murray is a name that has perplexed Syracuse fans. Murray is as talented as any point guard in the 2016 class. He is a top 30 player and has excelled during recent AAU events. He has an inate ability to create offensively both for himself and others. Murray can get his own shot almost at will.
At 6-foot-4, he would be a nice fit at Syracuse with his length as a point guard. He plays for the same AAU team as Tyler Ennis (CIA Bounce), so there is a strong Syracuse connection there. That said, the rumblings around him are that he is giving strong consideration to reclassifying to 2015.
Syracuse has reached out to Murray’s camp to see where things stand, according to a source. If he sticks in 2016, an offer from the Orange is probable.
Howard Washington is originally from Buffalo but moved to Florida to play at Motverde Academy. Syracuse is very familiar with the 6-foot-2 Washington as he has attended elite camps in the past. He doesn’t have an offer yet, but depending on how things go with their other targets, could snag one down the road.
Washington is a top 100 prospect with offers from George Washington, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, USC, Virginia and Virginia Tech. If Syracuse offered, they would have to be considered one of the favorites.
”They’re talking to my coaches,” Washington said. “Yes I’m open (to Syracuse). It would mean a lot (if they offered). I would have to talk with my parents but (Syracuse would be) up there for sure.”
Quinton Rose is another prospect without an offer. Hailing from nearby Rochester (N.Y.), Syracuse has seen him play several times. Assistant Mike Hopkins was at his school for a game just two months ago.
Rose appears to be someone that will have to wait for other dominos to fall before he picks up an offer from the Orange, but does have other options. He is hearing from Florida State, Northwestern, SMU, Temple, Miami and Wake Forest the most right now.
Rose stands at 6-foot-5, and has the size and length to play at the top of the zone. He admits, however, that Syracuse has not been in touch a lot recently. That could change if the prospects above look elsewhere.