Tonight is pretty big for Syracuse basketball recruiting. Local guard Joseph Girard III will be making his announcement, picking from Syracuse, Boston College, Penn State, Duke, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
And of course, we can pretty safely take a few of those schools out of the equation, since it certainly feels like Duke, Michigan, and the Irish have been out of the picture for quite some time. Considering Girard never took an official visit to Penn State, we can most likely cross them off, as well.
That leaves Syracuse and Boston College as the two heavy favorites for the sharpshooting guard’s talents. The 6-foot-1 Girard is one of the top shooters in the class of 2019, and would pair nicely alongside current commit Brycen Goodine, a 6-foot-4 combo guard who will likely play on the ball, enabling Girard to fill that G-Mac role whenever he and Billy Edelin were on the floor together.
Girard is making his announcement tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, and you can watch the announcement live here:
The two-sport star has said previously he won’t be pursuing football at the next level, instead focusing on hoops. After averaging 50 points-per-game and becoming the all-time leading scorer in New York state history, the Orange got in the mix relatively late compared to BC and Penn State, for example. Penn State was his first P5 offer, with BC following up a few months later.
And that brings me to a point I want to make about whatever Girard ultimately decides…
If Girard does wind up picking Boston College (or even Penn State, which would be fairly shocking but not totally out of the blue), I expect to see Syracuse fans yelling about how it makes no sense for a New York kid to pick a team like BC over a perennial power like Syracuse. Here’s the thing: when Syracuse gets on a player early, we always play the “I hope he realizes we believed in him first and stayed loyal to him” card when someone like Duke or Kentucky comes calling.
So… why do we never expect kids we miss out on to feel the same way about other schools who were on them before Syracuse got involved? A prime example of how this has worked out for us was with Tommy DeVito over on the football side of things. DeVito has stated that one of the big reasons he stuck with SU even after schools like Texas A&M came calling was because we did believe in him before anyone else did, and that earned his loyalty. If Girard picks Boston College, you bet your ass the faith they had in him (well before Syracuse ever offered) will have played a role.
Essentially what I’m saying is that, as a fan, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t expect a kid to show loyalty to us while also dismissing the notion they could be showing loyalty to another program when we don’t land them. On paper, it didn’t make much sense for DeVito to sign with Syracuse after bigger programs came calling, just like on paper, it might not make as much sense for Girard to pick BC.
That said, though… I do still expect the pick to be Syracuse. I’m not 100% confident, but I’d put my confidence level at about 75% based on conversations I’ve had with people who know more than I do when it comes to the recruiting scene. Either way, we’ll find out tonight. And who knows… dare we dream that Girard pledges to the Orange, and it becomes the big domino to also landing Isaiah Stewart?