Well. I, uh… This is…
Wow. This is the kind of gut punch that I think we all could have done without. I’m still relatively speechless at the report that Darius Bazley, Syracuse’s McDonald’s All-America forward commit, has decided to decommit from the Orange and head to the NBA’s G-League, skipping college and beginning to make a living with the game of basketball immediately.
Yahoo Sports story: McDonald’s All-American Darius Bazley decommits at Syracuse, becomes first top high school prospect to choose turning professional in the NBA G League. https://t.co/aM7VW2GF9M
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 29, 2018
The 6-foot-9 forward is a terrific athlete who oozes potential, and he was never likely to spend more than a year at Syracuse to begin with. But we all thought we’d actually get that year. Instead, with the recent departure of Matthew Moyer, Syracuse suddenly finds itself down to just two forwards in Oshae Brissett and Marek Dolezaj. What appeared to be a big logjam suddenly… is in desperate need for depth, all within the span of a couple days.
So what does Jim Boeheim do now? Well, no doubt we could be looking at a grad transfer or attempting to find a late 2018 recruit to add to next year’s roster. One potential option I’m hoping the team will look into is convincing current 2019 prospect Tyrese Samuel, a 6-foot-8 forward with great athleticism from Canada, to reclassify to 2018. Frankie Policelli is another potential option in the high school ranks.
This is a big blow, no doubt. And while I don’t believe Brissett is going to be going anywhere, I wasn’t expecting Bazley to skip Syracuse altogether, either. So basically, anything is possible at this point.
Good luck to Darius as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball. I hope he succeeds. But man, this one stings. Suddenly, all I can think about is the “what could have been” with Winfred Walton.