Over the years, Jim Boeheim and his staff have proven to be pretty outstanding when it comes to recruiting the point guard position. From Pearl Washington, to Sherman Douglas, on to Lazarus Sims, Jason Hart, Allen Griffin, and more recently, Jonny Flynn, Scoop Jardine, Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, and Kaleb Joseph, the Orange always seem to have serious talent running the show. One possible name to add that list down the road is currently a prospect in the class of 2017, and he lives right in SU’s backyard.
Malik Zachery is a 6-foot-1, 160 pound point guard who will be a rising sophomore at Nottingham this year. We’ve heard about Zachery before, but when we talked to our guy Dean Francis the other day, Zachery’s name popped out as a prospect to keep an eye on down the line. The lightning quick floor general made a solid first impression with Nottingham last year, averaging 6.5 points-per-game as a freshman. He went for double-digits five times, including a high of 19 against Auburn. Not bad for a freshman point guard.
We asked Francis a couple of follow up questions about Zachery, and he described him as being a pure point guard with good speed, also praising his handle and court vision. Francis was also quick to point out that, despite still being a young, skinny kid, Zachery shows a knack for getting into the lane and finishing with either hand.
On top of being a Syracuse kid, another connection to SU’s hoops program is the fact that Zachery works out with former Orange point guard Billy Edelin. If Zachery needs to learn how to get stronger and absorb contact, there are few better than Edelin to show him how it’s done, considering Edelin had an uncanny ability to finish in the paint. Edelin is also a good player to coach Zachery on how to see the floor and find the open man, as he boasted some of the best court vision and passing ability of any point guard Boeheim has ever coached, and has been arguably been second only to Douglas in that regard.
Zachery also has some talent in the family, as his uncle Tommy Gunn was a big time scorer for Middle Tennessee about a decade ago, easily surpassing 1,000 points in three seasons.
But getting back to Zachery, there’s still plenty of time for him to add strength, and he will continue to be on SU’s radar as he attends the Elite Camp that’s run every summer and continues to stand out during the high school season. While his jumper needs to get more consistent, he has shown the ability to knock down the long ball, including burying four in that game against Auburn.
In addition to Syracuse, Zachery is also on the radar for schools like Boston College and Penn State. Take a look at the video below, and you’ll get an idea of why BCS caliber schools are already showing interest in Malik.