After Paul Biancardi spent much of last week’s Nike Basketball Academy championship game gushing over the potential of Syracuse commit Darius Bazley, we probably should have expected his ascent up the ESPN rankings to continue. Well, for the first time in any of the various top 100 lists, Bazley has cracked the top 10.
Specifically, Bazley checks in at No. 9 in the latest update of the top 100, and he may not even be done climbing. Biancardi made some bold predictions, as well, and noted that before the end of the year, the 6-foot-9 forward could be rated among the top five prospects in the class of 2018:
“Every time Bazley steps on the court he progresses. With his length, skill and decision-making he has become one of the fastest risers in the class.”
Of course, Bazley wasn’t the only player to make a big move in the newest top 100 update. Jalen Carey, the elite point guard who sits atop Syracuse’s remaining wish list in the class of 2018, vaulted up to No. 34 – the highest ranking he’s got in any of the current top 100s. The 6-foot-3 (or 6-foot-4, depending on which website you check) New Jersey native has generally been checking in somewhere in the 50s, with Scout’s ranking of No. 78 the outlier at this point.
The high-volume scoring guard will be visiting Syracuse for an official in early September, the same weekend that Bazley will be taking his OV to Central New York. He’ll be taking a pair of official visits before getting to Syracuse, however, with a trip to Miami this weekend and a visit to UConn next weekend. Syracuse will follow after that, and he’s also got a trip to Kansas lined up for the weekend of September 29.
Here are a few other notable names from ESPN’s latest top 100:
- No. 21 – Louis King (SG/SF, New Jersey – serious Syracuse interest)
- No. 35 – Cole Swider (SF/PF, Rhode Island – picked Villanova over Syracuse)
- No. 45 – Antwann Jones (SG, Florida – likely a backup option for Syracuse)
- No. 91 – Eric Ayala (PG/SG, Delaware – you know the story by now)
- No. 96 – Marcus Zegarowski (PG, Massachusetts – no Syracuse interest, but brother of Michael Carter-Williams)