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Hey gang! Been awhile, I know. While I haven’t posted anything in awhile, I’m always active on Twitter, so head on over there if you don’t already follow the Otto’s Grove account, won’t you? 

One of the things I like about Twitter (which… yeah, certainly has a lot not to like lately, but we’ll leave those things aside) is that it enables quick hitter thoughts, without the effort of putting together an entire post about a specific subject. What I’m saying here is that man, I like being lazy. With that in mind, why don’t we talk about a bunch of random Syracuse stuff? Let’s start with some basketball thoughts…

  • I’ve seen a lot of people freaking out over a couple official visits for Syracuse basketball recruits Joe Girard and Quincy Guerrier. Girard, the 6-foot-1 scoring machine, took an OV to Boston College, while Guerrier, a 6-foot-7 wing from Quebec, is heading to Oregon for an OV in the relatively near future. And all I can think is… why are people freaking out? It will be the first official for Guerrier, and only the second for Girard. If you’re going to take any visits, you’re probably going to take more than one, right? People rarely hone in on a single college so quickly, whether they’re an athlete or not. I mean, I was an exception since I had wanted to go to Syracuse my entire life, but most sane people do their due diligence to find the best fit. That goes for athletes, too. That said, Oregon is certainly perhaps the biggest challenger for Guerrier, as the Ducks have recruited well the last few years and are always a threat for Canadian kids based on their staff connections. The good news is that the grapevine indicates both are still Syracuse leans, but recruiting is fluid, so things can change.
  • Sticking to Syracuse basketball recruiting, my best guess as to how the class will shake out – again, knowing that recruiting is fluid – is Brycen Goodine (obviously), Joe Girard, Quincy Guerrier, Akok Akok, and Qudus Wahab.
  • It’s no real surprise that Kahlil Whitney committed to Kentucky. It seemed like the writing was on the wall as soon as John Calipari started showing interest in the 6-foot-7 wing, who at one time was believed to be a Syracuse lean. I’ve heard a little about how things played out and why Syracuse wound up not being in the mix at the end (in part because ultimately interest cooled on both sides, or at least from Syracuse’s perspective, they saw that he was becoming more and more unlikely and shifted their focus elsewhere… hence the big increase in attention to Guerrier, for example). Still, it’s disappointing for me simply because Whitney was probably the most impressive player I saw at EYBL Dallas. Kid is going to be a lottery pick.

And now, how about a few football thoughts?

  • I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday, but when the news about Maryland broke I had one immediate thought: could that toxic culture have been part of the reason Scott Shafer so abruptly left the staff, without coaching a single game as DJ Durkin’s defensive coordinator? Shafer lasted only a few months at Maryland, and while you can think what you want about his abilities as a head coach, he’s unquestionably a good man and it’s hard to imagine him ever being comfortable with Durkin’s practices. Considering Shafer cited “personal reasons” to step aside, I can’t help but wonder… even though, again, this is 100% speculation and I could be completely off base.
  • For actual Syracuse thoughts, it’s time to go out on a small limb and predict that a true freshman wide receiver will wind up starting before the end of the year. Dino Babers has said that he’s waiting for someone to emerge as the go-to guy, and indications are that no one has grabbed onto that number one spot yet. That means every position is likely up for grabs, and the reports coming out of camp are that two true freshmen – Anthony Queeley and Ed Hendrix – have been very impressive. My gut tells me that the highly touted Hendrix will be the guy who winds up starting at one of the outside receiver positions, though based on Julian Whigham’s high praise of Queeley, it sounds like he could at a minimum make the 2-deep as well.
  • By the way, if you don’t follow Whigham on Twitter, you should, particularly during camp season. He’s got great insight, as you’d imagine from a guy who actually suited up for the Orange and played with some of the guys still on the team.

And I think that’s about all for today. It’s Saturday morning, after all. We should all be watching cartoons and eating a big bowl of cereal, right? Or sleeping. Yeah, probably sleeping. I’ll try to get back to posting more regularly, and hopefully start spotlighting recruiting targets again. With the high school season about to begin, we should start hearing about new football targets emerging, so it’s an exciting time of year for recruiting diehards. And considering we’re only a few Saturdays away from Syracuse football kicking off the season and hopefully finding their way back to a bowl, it’s an exciting time of year for Orange fans. For the next few weeks, at least, Syracuse is still undefeated.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish