Taurean Thompson gives Syracuse elite versatility

Taurean Thompson adds versatility to Syracuse's front court. Details inside:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- With the addition of Taurean Thompson to Syracuse's 2016 recruiting class, Jim Boeheim will add elite versatility to his front court. 

Thompson, a 6-foot-10 big man from New York City, verbally committed to the Orange over Michigan State and Seton Hall on Friday. 

The elite Brewster Academy product has visited Syracuse twice - both officially and unofficially - and thoroughly enjoyed both. 

Taurean isn't your typical high school big man. His strength separates himself from most in the 2016 class and his ability to rebound puts him in an elite bunch. 

http://www.scout.com/college/syracuse/story/1683247-audio-breaking-down-taurean-thompson-to-cuseWith his size, Thompson can and will play both the four and five in college. He joins a veteran Syracuse front court, but that doesn't mean he won't see time on the court. Tyler Roberson's inconsistency found him in Boeheim's doghouse quite a bit last year. Thompson could step in and be a difference maker off the bench for the Orange.

Thompson can step out and hit the occasional 15-footer, and that will only improve under Mike Hopkins' coaching. His post-up offense is above average for his age, as well. Where Thompson will stand out is his ability to rebound, which goes back to his strength. 

He's currently at 225 pounds, according to Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith. When Chris McCullough, a former 1st-round draft pick, was at Syracuse, he weighed under 200 pounds and was pushed around in the zone quite a bit. That won't happen with Thompson.

His size will give him an edge on the floor from his first day on campus as a Syracuse University student. Coach Smith told CuseNation.com that Taurean has a tremendous work ethic and is as skilled as any big man that has come through Brewster Academy under his watch. 

That's quite the compliment.

Throughout his recruitment, Thompson has piled up the offers. From Syracuse to Kansas to Connecticut - everyone has wanted a piece of the top 100 prospect. But at the end of the day, Jim Boeheim landed him.

Thompson's versatility will give him opportunities from the get go. Down the road, he'll likely play more power forward than center - but his ability to play both benefits everyone. Tyler Lydon won't be forced to play much four or five - but instead stay at his natural position of small forward. 

Syracuse has produced a first-round draft pick in five consecutive years. Only Kentucky and Duke have a longer streak. 

There are 351 Division I schools in 32 different conferences, and Syracuse has more NBA players than 344 of them. 

Thompson could very well be on that list when his time at SU is complete.


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