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Sure, Syracuse may have missed on Cole Swider last week. But the Orange rebounded in a huge way today with the commitment of Darius Bazley, who just so happened to be visiting the SU campus at the same time when Swider was making his decision. Bazley is the first commitment of the 2018 class for the Orange.

Bazley, a 6-foot-9 forward from Cincinnati, is a prototypical Syracuse forward. He’s tremendously athletic, long and rangy, and his skill set is rapidly developing. The lefty forward is someone I’ve talked a little bit about before, whose style falls somewhere between a college-aged Derrick Coleman and Hakim Warrick – only more advanced offensively than Warrick was at the same age.

Bazley was previously committed to Ohio State before backing off of that pledge, and has been one of the hottest names on the AAU scene throughout this spring. His stock has been skyrocketing, and he’s now ranked No. 32 in the nation by ESPN and No. 42 nationally by Scout. This is a tremendous addition for the Orange, and should¬†hopefully¬†alleviate some of the recent concern about Syracuse’s ability to close the deal with priority recruits.

The dynamic, athletic forward picked Syracuse over the likes of Florida, Georgetown, Louisville, Illinois, Indiana, Xavier, Maryland, and Purdue, and starts off the 2018 class with a bang. Right now, he projects as more of a power forward but clearly has the burgeoning skills to eventually develop into a small forward. If you haven’t seen Bazley in action, check out some of his highlights below.

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