Maybe he is Syracuse basketball's good luck charm. That he would be 2017 SG/SF Chris Duarte. Duarte visited last month when the Orange dominated rival Pittsburgh, and returned for a big win over then No. 9 Virginia. That makes Syracuse 2-0 with two of their better performances of the season with Duarte in attendance.
That certainly will not hurt the Orange in their quest to land the talented wing, who recently put up 38 points for his Redemption Christian squad in front of Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry. That includes making seven of his eight three-point attempts.
Since that performance, Utah, UConn and Rutgers have expressed interest. Despite that, Syracuse seems to be in a good spot as they continue to recruit him hard. Saturday's atmosphere had to have left an impression.
"He loved it," Guillermo Beitler of the New York Lightning said. "How could you not love a game like that? Totally amazing."
Duarte spent time before and after the game speaking with the Syracuse coaches, including assistant Adrian Autry and head coach Jim Boeheim. Their message to the three-star prospect was simple and direct.
"They really want him and need him," Beitler said. "He will come in and (play) because there's no one with his skill set. And he's a priority."
Beitler added that Duarte believed that message and was happy to hear it.
With two positive visits in a three to four week span, does that mean a decision is imminent? Not necessarily.
"All within due time," Beitler said. "We really do not rush into anything. We evaluate everything thoroughly. He's trying to enjoy his last year of high school."
Don't be surprised if an official visit is scheduled somewhat soon.