To say that the upcoming weekend is a big one for Syracuse basketball recruiting would be an understatement. As far as the 2018 cycle goes, there’s no bigger or more important weekend on the calendar than this one. That’s because Syracuse will be hosting not just commit Darius Bazley, but also prized point guard target Jalen Carey for official visits.

Bazley has been rocketing up the national rankings and is solid to Syracuse, and expected to sign during the early period this fall. Carey, however, is still on the market and making an impeccable impression this weekend is essential. He’s already visited UConn and Miami, the two schools most experts seem to think are Syracuse’s biggest competition. Carey still has an official on the docket later this month for Kansas, but whether or not he winds up taking it depends on a number of factors.

The 6-foot-3 Carey is a dynamic scorer, and I’ve made no secrets of the fact that I covet him for this class as much as any lead guard available. Personally, I think that Carey is severely undervalued on the national scene, though his No. 34 ranking on ESPN is pretty close to what I feel is accurate. The No. 49 ranking by 247 and Rivals is at least understandable, but his Scout ranking of No. 78 defies explanation.

In any event, the New Jersey native can score at all three levels and possesses terrific length and athleticism, and while he’s been more of a scoring guard to date he’s got the tools to become an elite playmaker. His size, athleticism, and style of play reminds me a little bit of Kyrie Irving, to be honest (I’m not saying he’s Kyrie, but that’s whose game Carey’s reminds me of).

Having Bazley taking his official visit the same weekend as Carey is smart, and no doubt Buddy Boeheim will be around as well as a probable member of the 2018 class. Syracuse’s fortunes moving forward depend quite a bit on this official visit, and while there are other options available (including Eric Ayala, currently slated to visit in October, though if Carey picks Syracuse before then that visit will almost certainly be canceled), Carey is clearly the guy Jim Boeheim and his staff want.

If you haven’t checked out any of Carey’s highlights, take a look below, and you’ll see exactly why Syracuse is hoping to land the 4-star point guard so badly.

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