Mike Pegram, Peegs.com

Eric Ayala Gets Closer Look at Syracuse

Four-star guard Eric Ayala discusses a recent visit to Syracuse, where his recruitment stands and interest in the Orange.

One of the most important remaining targets for Syracuse basketball in their 2017 and 2018 classes is four-star guard Eric Ayala. He could end up in either cycle, and the Orange want him regardless.

Ayala visited the Syracuse campus for the first time on Monday, and had only positive things to say about what he saw. 

"I was definitely impressed," Ayala said. "Going into the Dome. Being in there from the beginning of the game when there was nobody in there until tipoff when it was fully packed, that was just crazy." 

The four-star guard spent time before and after the game with the coaching staff. They told him while he was watching the Orange try to upset Louisville, to envision himself wearing the jersey and playing in front of a raucous crowd. 

"Just, while I was watching the game, to imagine myself being up there," Ayala said. "That was basically the message, to imagine myself being there, playing up there and stuff like that. I did that a lot. Definitely seeing how the guards interact with the coaches and how the coaches interact with the guards.

"How they play. I'm familiar with Syracuse, so I knew how they play, but seeing it first hand is a little better than watching it on TV. He definitely lets the guards play most of the game. Just watching how he coaches player, he holds them to a high standard. Gives that little extra push to motivate. I definitely liked that."

http://www.scout.com/player/195163-eric-ayala?s=185

Not only did Ayala get a better feel for how his skill set fits into what Syracuse does at both ends of the floor, but he left the game with a very high opinion of the Orange fans. 

"It was great," Ayala said. "I don't think I've been in an atmosphere like that before. The fans, they definitely go hard. There were times in the game where I had to cover my ears with how loud it was. It was definitely a great atmosphere to be in."

Ayala said the visit to Syracuse definitely helped with where the Orange stand. It finally gives him the ability to compare the campus to other schools he has seen. But the four-star guard says he has no favorites right now and remains wide open. 

He does plan on getting back up to Syracuse sometime soon, potentially for one of the final two home games. Syracuse plays Duke and Georgia Tech to wrap up the home slate over the next two weeks or so. 

Beyond that, Ayala still has to decide on whether or not he is reclassifying back to the 2017 class. He says that decision will likely come shortly after his season completes, which will be early March. 


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