Syracuse basketball has a very important class incoming in the 2017 recruiting cycle. It will help shape the foundation of the program for the next few years. The Orange already have two players signed (Bourama Sidibe and Oshae Brissett) and one other committed (Howard Washington). Who else will they add to the 2017?
Here is who we believe will end up as part of the recruiting class based on what we know right now.
Eric Ayala is still technically in the 2018 class, and he has not made a decision regarding reclassifying back to 2017, at least publicly. Should he choose to reclassify, Syracuse seems to be the best bet. All signs point towards that being the most likely scenario.
Ayala would give Syracuse much needed guard depth for the upcoming season. He can play either guard spot, is has a solid outside jumper and is skilled off the bounce. In the lane, he can make plays for himself or his teammates. Regardless of whether or not he starts as a true freshman, he will certainly have a significant and important role.
With his 6-foot-4 frame and long arms, Ayala projects as someone who could be a strong defender at the top of the Syracuse zone. He moves well laterally as well.
Jordan Tucker has always liked Syracuse, but that ship seemed to have sailed a while back when he moved to Georgia to finish his high school basketball career. But his primary recruiter for the Orange, Gerry McNamara, has kept in touch throughout his recruitment.
Despite previously narrowing his list to four (Indiana, Villanova, Oregon and Georgia Tech), Syracuse is back in the mix. Tucker is working on setting up an official visit to SU, a place he has visited multiple times in the past. He has already taken trips to Indiana and Villanova, but the Hoosiers seem to be out of the mix with the firing of Tom Crean.
If the Wildcats want him, they may be the biggest threat. The Ducks are also trying to make a push, and could make an impression should they get an official. That said, Oregon has two four-star small forwards and a four-star shooting guard committed. So is there room for him?
Also of note, Tucker was originally scheduled to take an official to Oregon this coming weekend. However, he has changed his plans and will now be on the Syracuse campus instead.
Expect the Orange to make a big push on their official, and that should put them in a good spot to land the talented wing. Tucker would add much needed shooting to the Syracuse roster. He is improving off the bounce, but is a lethal outside shooter who has great length for the zone.
Adding Ayala and Tucker to Brissett, Sidibe and Washington would be a really nice way to end the 2017 recruiting cycle. With the concern over perceived recruiting misses earlier, adding two top 100 prospects at positions of need with coveted skill sets would be a huge win. It would signal that Syracuse basketball recruiting is just fine, and the extension of Jim Boeheim only helps their efforts along with strong work from the assistants.