Syracuse is still trying to finish out its class of 2018, and this week the Orange may finally be able to finalize its roster for the upcoming season. That’s because Syracuse will play host to a pair of late blooming recruits, with Robert Braswell and Osun Osunniyi making the trip to Central New York.
After Bryce Golden picked Butler over Syracuse, the Orange shifted gears and turned their focus to the 6-foot-9 Braswell. The Blythewood High School product is an intriguing prospect, possessing both outstanding length and athleticism. From a physical standpoint, he may remind Orange fans of a young Hakim Warrick, particularly given his leaping ability (he’s the South Carolina state champ in the high jump, clearing 6-feet, 6-inches last year). But he’s also a better than average perimeter shooter, making him a true stretch forward.
Braswell comes from a military family who spent time as a kid in Europe and hasn’t really played on the AAU circuits, which is a big part of why he’s flown so far under the radar. He’s also grown significantly over the last couple years, enabling him to bring more of a guard skillset with his long, lanky physique. Right now, reports are that Braswell will be deciding between Syracuse, Oklahoma State, and UMass.
Osunniyi, on the other hand, only recently became available after receiving his release from LaSalle. Like Braswell, Osunniyi was a late bloomer, growing from 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-10 over the course of his high school career. He’ll be visiting St. Bonaventure this week and also has interest from Georgetown and Maryland. Osunniyi will cap off the week with a visit to Syracuse on May 10.
Osunniyi is most recently a product of Putnam Science Academy, and before that he played at Mainland High School in New Jersey.
Now, it’s still unclear whether the Orange would take both players, though it would make sense to accept commitments from both, should both players want to pledge to Syracuse. Given Braswell wasn’t offered until after Golden chose Butler, it’s clear that it was an either/or situation between the two forwards, and the Orange wouldn’t have taken both.
But both of those players are forwards who can stretch the floor. Osunniyi and Braswell, on the other hand, play different positions, with Osunniyi being more of a defensive presence for the middle of the zone, while Braswell is purely a forward and more of a perimeter-oriented/face up player at this stage in his career. Given how well they’d fit alongside one another, it would only make sense to take both if that’s how things play out.
We’ll have to wait and see, of course. While neither player is Darius Bazley, bouncing back from his decision to bypass Syracuse and head to the G League with at least one, and preferably both of Braswell and Osunniyi would be a terrific recovery by the Orange coaching staff.