Syracuse is headed toward a huge recruiting class in 2017, first in terms of sheer numbers and, as Orange fans hope, in terms of overall talent. With around 5-to-7 scholarships expected to be open, the Orange have a little room to play around with finding the best players to fill their needs. One such player might wind up being Georgia product Alex O’Connell.
Nicknamed the “Slim Reaper” due to his very slight build, the 6-foot-6 swingman is an intriguing prospect, and currently ranked number 88 in the class of 2017 by Scout. However, based on his early play this summer there’s a very solid chance be finds himself climbing in the rankings before long. With his strong floor game, skinny 6-foot-6 frame, ability to hit from long range, and an expected rise in the rankings, his is a profile very reminiscent of Kevin Huerter.
Huerter, you may recall, is the upstate New York player who chose Maryland over the Orange last year. Like O’Connell, he’s 6-foot-6 and has a well rounded offensive game. Also like O’Connell, Huerter really started to blow up the summer leading into his senior year, going from a relatively off the radar recruit to a hot commodity. With the way O’Connell has played so far this summer, I expect a similar rise for the Alpharetta, Georgia native.
O’Connell doesn’t have an offer from Syracuse yet, but he’ll be visiting the Orange soon and there’s a pretty strong chance he walks away with one on his trip. Syracuse is after plenty of wing players in the class of 2017, but again, with so many openings expected it’s highly likely that the Orange take two or three swing players this cycle.
Watching O’Connell’s highlights, one of the first things that jumps out is how athletic he is. He’s a long, gangly kid who, let’s be honest, looks like he’s about 12 years old, so it’s surprising to see him explode to the hoop and finish with authority. After all, you don’t expect to see someone’s kid brother (who only tagged along because their mom said the older brother had to bring him) rise up and throw it down on someone on a breakaway.
Once he fills out, he could wind up playing either shooting guard or small forward at the next level and be a lights out shooter who also boasts the ability to handle the ball and create chances for his teammates with some terrific court vision.
Right now, O’Connell boasts offers from the likes of Arizona State, Ole Miss, Clemson, Georgia, Iowa State, and Auburn, among others, but as his profile continues to grow, expect that list to expand right along with it.