Entering the early signing period, Syracuse Orange basketball was still looking for the first member of its 2017 class. Just a few days after the conclusion of the period, the class is two strong.
Four-star center Bourama Sidibe of St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey announced his commitment to the Orange Monday afternoon. He had previously signed his National Letter of Intent, making him officially part of the program.
“Bourama fit the Syracuse style of play really, really well,” St. Benedict's head coach Mark Taylor said. “Bourama is 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan who is super, super athletic. Reminds me of (Hakim) Warrick who played there a few years back. Very talented player.
“He had a lot of options. But after visiting up there at Syracuse and talking to coach (Boeheim) and seeing how they do things, I think he felt really comfortable that he would be very, very strong in their system. Grow as a player and get to the NBA.”
One of the factor's that played into Sidibe's decision were the Syracuse coaches and their ability to develop bigs. Sidibie is a player with a lot of upside, something the Orange staff will look to tap into.
“I think he got a good feel for the coaches while he was up there,” Taylor said. “He didn’t get a lot of time to spend watching practice. I think he watched one practice, so I don’t know how much he got to see. But I think he’s confident in the players they’ve had and what they’ve been able to accomplish at Syracuse going through what Syracuse does. Sidibe, he’s been with us, this’ll be his third season.
“The growth that he’s made in three years is unbelievable. I think that’ll just continue with how Syracuse does things and how prepared he’s going to be coming from us. The last guy we sent (Syracuse), Tyler Ennis, was one and done. I think he’s going to be pretty close to where he needs to be. The big thing with Syracuse is you’re going to get him bigger, stronger and more accustomed to that game that they play.”
Location often plays a large role in recruiting, and that certainly helped Syracuse land Sidibe. The combination of the program, coaching staff, facilities and closeness to his new home at St. Benedict's was ultimately too much to pass up.
“The St. Benedict’s family has kind of enveloped itself around Bourama,” Taylor said. “Bourama comes from Africa via Spain. So he was away from home in Spain for three years before he came to the U.S. He’s been with us three years. This summer, we sent him home to visit his family. He hadn’t seen them in over four years. It was an opportunity for him to get home to Africa, see his mother, say hello to everybody else. It went a long way.
“St. Benedict’s has become his family while here in the States. I think one of the big decisions that went into him choosing Syracuse over some of the other options he had, was the fact that it was a car ride away from St. Benedict’s. The ability for us as coaches, who have become his surrogate family here in the States, the opportunity to be close enough that if need be, we’re there for him.”
Sidibe is ranked as a four-star prospect and 26th best center in the 2017 class. He joins forward Oshae Brissett in Syracuse's 2017 class. Sidibe is listed at 6-foot-10, 225-pounds. He chose the Orange over offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Maryland, Seton Hall, Texas Tech, West Virginia and others.