Thompson going elsewhere hurts SU more in 2017-18

Syracuse would be fine without Taurean Thompson next season. It would be the 2017-18 season that would hurt the most.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The question surrounding the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program this offseason has been, "When will Taurean Thompson commit?"

"I have absolutely no idea," a source close to Thompson told on Wednesday afternoon.

Jordan Tucker, a class of 2017 four-star forward, told Adam Zagoria of last week he expects Thompson to sign with Syracuse. The two visited SU together roughly a month ago, along with Hamidou Diallo, Matthew Moyer, Quade Green and John Gillon. 

Whether or not Thompson signs with Syracuse is anybody's guess. Sources close to the Syracuse basketball program have told that everyone is in the dark.

"Your guess is as good as theirs," one source said. "Syracuse just wants him to take his time and make sure he's making the right decision."

Taurean is down to Michigan State, Seton Hall and Syracuse. If he elects to attend Seton Hall, he would make an immediate impact. It's not the same at Michigan State or Syracuse, though.

If Thompson were to sign with Syracuse, he would be the backup power forward and third-string center. Dajuan Coleman, Tyler Roberson and Tyler Lydon will start at the 5-4-3, while Paschal Chukwu will be the backup center. Matthew Moyer, an incoming four-star forward, will provide depth for the Orange off the bench. Thompson's role would be similar to Moyer's. 

Barring any major injuries or developments, the Orange would be fine next season without Taurean Thompson. He wouldn't be the piece that would get SU back for the Final Four for a second consecutive season. He would, however, be an important role on the 2017-18 team.

Syracuse will graduate Coleman and Roberson after this season. Tyler Lydon has a legitimate chance to take his game to the next level after his sophomore year, which leaves Chukwu and Moyer on the 2017-18 squad. Taurean Thompson would start his sophomore year at SU and would play major minutes.

Jim Boeheim and his staff are lining up a major recruiting class for the 2017 season. But as of right now, SU doesn't have any commitments. Quade Green, Jordan Tucker, Hamidou Diallo and Nick Richards are the top priorities, but none are close to a commitment. Landing Thompson would not only give Syracuse depth for a few seasons, but it would give them breathing room. It would simply take the pressure off the coaching staff to land a big man that would contribute immediately.

Thompson completed an official visit to Michigan State on Monday, and is now reportedly nearing a decision. Whether that comes this week or next - well, who knows. 

One thing we do know is his role will be much more important in 2017 than it would be in 2016. 

Syracuse currently has three open scholarships for the 2016-17 season. 

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