Southerland: Syracuse Was My No. 1 School

Reporter Brian Towey has a story on James Southerland who recently committed to Syracuse University ...

James Southerland knew all along which school he wanted. It was just a matter of patience.

"Syracuse was my number one dream school," said Southerland. "That's what I was waiting for. So I decided to wait a wait awhile."

Southerland's patience was rewarded on Thursday when Cuse assistant Mike Hopkins stopped by Cardozo to extend a scholarship offer. It didn't take the Floral Park native long to deliberate.

"I was really hoping they'd offer, and was very happy they did," said Southerland. "They told me that they really wanted me, and I told them I really wanted to come."

With a long, sinewy frame and a lethal touch from a perimeter. Southerland's stock had ascended during his junior year. He claimed offers from St. John's and Seton Hall, and interest from Virginia Tech, St. Joseph's, Rutgers, and Hofstra.

Syracuse began tracking Southerland closely after he attended the team's summer camp before his junior year at Cardozo. The staff made a couple of trips to Queens this season to evaluate him. Like many others, the team's coaching staff came away enamored of his economical shooting stroke and his upside.

"They like that I can shoot," said Southerland. "I'm 6-foot-6-6-foot-6 1/2 and very athletic. They see me as a shooter, going through screens, getting open shots."

Is is that shooting stroke that really sets Southerland apart. He's extended his range over the last year, now a legit threat from behind the arc. As he improves his physical strength and continues to hone his ball skills- which have progressed over the last six months- Southerland has a chance to touch his considerable ceiling.

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