We reached out to Syracuse recruiting junkie Dean Francis, who runs the recruiting blog Otto’s World, to get some insights into the current status of several targets on the Orange radar. Francis has been on the recruiting scene since 2000, and offers a ton of insight and knowledge on the top prospects year in and year out.
1. Who is the top target for Jimmy B in 2016?
Francis: Right now the staff has put in the most time with Tyus Battle, Jamal Murray (pictured above), Sedee Keita, Harry Giles, and Matt Moyer.
2. Has the staff cooled at all on Tyus Battle?
Francis: I wouldn’t say that they have cooled off on Battle, because Mike Hopkins has a good relationship with Battle’s dad. Plus the staff watched Battle all throughout the live period, so the interest must still be there. It’s going to be a dog fight of a recruitment due to all of the big name programs that are involved such as Duke, UK, Louisville, etc.
3. Who are some of the top prospects from ’16 and beyond to watch?
Francis: 2016 look out for PG Howard Washington from the Buffalo area and SG Quinton Rose from Rochester. 2017 keep an eye on forwards Melo Eggleston, DJ Harvey, and Myles Douglas. Guards Malik Zachery, Trevon Duval, and Jordan Tucker. 2018 is definitely way too early to take anybody really seriously yet, but a pair of pups to keep in mind are PF Nazreon Reid and SG Cam Redddish.
4. Derrick Jones/Thomas Bryant – who is the better fit for SU?
Francis: Bryant is the better fit and more likely of a get between the two. SU is going to need more depth at the center position with Christmas moving on, Coleman’s uncertainty when it comes to his health, and Obokoh being a raw developmental player. What I love about Bryant is the fact that he doesn’t just provide offense and defense, but he brings leadership qualities and an on-court passion that I feel has been missing from the team over the past few years.
5. Is JB blowing smoke when he says this ’15 class is his best class ever?
Francis: That’s a good question because the last time JB said a class was his greatest ever it was the ’03 class, with Nichols, T-Rob, Watkins, and McCroskey. We all know how that turned out. Anyway I do like this class a lot because each player fills a need and should be important contributors throughout their playing career at SU. With that said, I think the 2001 (Edelin, Pace, Warrick, Forth) and 2002 (Melo and GMac) classes will always hold dear to my heart because those were the foundational classes that set up what would be SU’s and JB’s only championship at this point. If Thomas Bryant does indeed eventually joins this class then I may have to change my opinion and agree with coach.