Well, this is an unexpected twist to the 2017 recruiting season. Tremont Waters, one of the highest rated point guard prospects in the country, is suddenly (presumably) back on the market. After requesting a release from his signed letter of intent from Georgetown – which the Hoyas are expected to grant – Waters is opening his recruitment back up, and ESPN is reporting that Syracuse is interested.
Duke and Syracuse are among the teams expected to get involved with Tremont Waters since he reopened his recruitment, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 13, 2017
Point guard is the position Syracuse most desperately needs to shore up heading into next season, which is why we’ve seen the Orange push for Eric Ayala to reclassify from 2018 to 2017, and it’s also why the Orange offered Howard Washington over the weekend.
And now, with Waters opening things back up, Syracuse may pull off one hell of a coup. Obviously, there are plenty of other interested parties. Duke will need point guard help, and Waters was also high on Kansas before picking Georgetown. Indiana was another of the 5-foot-10 point guard’s finalists.
When I heard Waters was opening things back up yesterday, I honestly didn’t expect the Orange to jump into the mix, simply because we weren’t among the schools recruiting him last summer. But it certainly makes sense, since Syracuse so badly needs a true point guard, and when a top 40 level kid suddenly becomes a real option, it’d be foolish not to at least put out feelers.
Now, obviously, at 5-foot-10, Waters doesn’t have ideal size for the 2-3 zone. But Syracuse hasn’t exactly struggled when they’ve featured shorter point guards in the past. Sherman Douglas, Jonny Flynn, Allen Griffin, Tyler Ennis, and Scoop Jardine are among some of the undersized guys (though Scoop and Ennis were 6-foot-2) who have thrived at Syracuse. John Gillon has shown this season that the Orange were better with him on the floor than without, and he’s all of about 5-foot-9. Gerry McNamara was listed at 6-foot-2, but closer to 6-feet even. More importantly, what Waters brings to the table is natural point guard ability.
That’s perfectly fine with me. Syracuse has struggled in recent years in the half court setting, and getting a legitimate point guard – as opposed to a combination guard or a converted wing player – should enable the offense to flow a bit more smoothly. Waters is a 4-star talent who plays at South Kent, the same program that sent Matthew Moyer to Syracuse last year. Moyer has a connection to Waters, and will no doubt be in the point guard’s ear about joining the Orange.
Waters is small, and isn’t an explosive athlete, but like Ennis he’s got terrific court vision and a high basketball IQ. He’s got the ability to get into the lane and isn’t afraid of contact, making him similar to Flynn in that regard. He’s a solid shooter with range, as well. Check out high highlights from last year’s Peach Jam below.