The next few weeks are going to be crucial for Syracuse basketball when it comes to recruiting. We’re creeping up on the early signing period, which begins November 9, and the Orange are still without a commitment in the class of 2017. Fortunately, some big-time talents are set to swing by CNY in the near future, and we could finally see some dominos start to fall.
This weekend, the Orange will be hosting 5-star forward Billy Preston. The 6-foot-10, highly skilled power forward from Oak Hill Academy opened up his recruitment a few weeks ago and Syracuse quickly jumped into the mix. Now, things are moving quickly with Preston, and he’s going to be in town for his official visit this weekend.
Kansas, Indiana, and USC are among the other schools seriously in the mix for Preston, who has a similar build to former Orange forward Chris McCullough, but with a much more polished offensive game. Preston handles like a guard and can stretch the floor, and would be a massive pick up for the Orange if they can land him. He’s one of the truly elite forwards in the nation this year.
Meanwhile, one of Syracuse’s top targets at the shooting guard spot is also planning an official visit in the near future. Lonnie Walker, a 6-foot-4 product of Reading, Pennsylvania, will be on campus the weekend of November 4, making that trip his final official visit. He also plans on signing early, meaning that he’ll be making his decision shortly after returning home from his trip to Upstate New York.
Walker’s final five consists of Syracuse, Arizona, Kentucky, Villanova, and Miami, and this weekend he’s scheduled to be checking out Arizona. At this point, the buzz is that Villanova is the clear leader for Walker’s services, with Kentucky and Syracuse battling for second place. Walker, like Preston, would be an enormous win for Syracuse, particularly considering how much need the Orange will have at the guard position.
Brandon Randolph has been considered the top priority for Syracuse at shooting guard, and is set to decide tonight. However, he just returned home from a visit to Arizona, and the buzz is that the Wildcats are the heavy favorites to land him. On the flip side, that could conceivably help with Walker, since if Randolph declares for Arizona, it could eliminate them from Lonnie’s top five.
(UPDATE: Since publishing this, Randolph has indeed committed to Arizona)
Things are still pretty fluid, and while it’d be nice to land a commitment sooner than later (looking at you, Quade Green and Oshae Brissett), there are some pretty outstanding irons in the fire. The next few weeks are going to be very, very interesting, to say the least.