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While Syracuse continues to fill out its basketball recruiting class of 2017, that doesn’t mean the Orange haven’t been planning ahead as well. Today, the staff extended an offer to 2018 combo guard Eric Ayala, who plays alongside Hamidou Diallo at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.

Ayala is a 6-foot-3 guard who also holds offers Arizona, UConn, Maryland, and Villanova, among others. Watching a bit of his film this afternoon, it’s clear he’s a highly skilled offensive player who has the ball handling ability to play the point and the scoring arsenal needed to play off the ball. He’s a true combo guard.

To be perfectly honest, the immediate comparison that popped into my head as I watched him in his highlights was Eric Devendorf. He’s got nearly identical size, and the same ability to use his handle to get into the lane and his body control and craftiness to finish among the big bodies down low.

Along with that, Ayala is definitely a threat to hit from long range, both as a spot up shooter and off the bounce. A native of Delaware, Ayala plays his EYBL ball alongside phenom point guard Trevon Duval as well as recent Syracuse commit Bourama Sidibe with WeR1. According to the WeR1 website, Ayala averaged about 20 points-per-game in leading his squad to the Under Armour Association championship.

Of course, considering Syracuse needs help on the perimeter in 2017, you may be thinking, “That’s great and all, but we need help now.” This is where things could get interesting. See, Ayala was originally a part of the class of 2017, and reclassified to 2018 to get an extra year of high school ball under his belt. It’s completely feasible that he could wind up reclassifying back to the 2017 class, which makes his recruitment even more intriguing.

He’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

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