After having both been selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-America game, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Syracuse signee Malachi Richardson, and potential final piece to the 2015 puzzle, Thomas Bryant, have been named to the East roster for the Jordan Brand Classic.
Richardson, a swingman from Trenton, has been putting up some big scoring numbers all season. The shooting guard averaged 18.8 points per game this season, and will be bringing a much needed skill to the Orange next season: shooting. Richardson has been making 2.8 three pointers per game this season. The volume scorer was only limited to single digits once this season, scoring eight points in a blowout victory on January 13.
Bryant, meanwhile, is a guy many Syracuse fans consider to be the missing piece to the puzzle for next season’s roster. With Rakeem Christmas finishing up his eligibility tomorrow, there’s going to be a glaring hole at center in 2015-2016. Obviously, the hole could be filled by DaJuan Coleman, depending on how he recovers from his injury, and Chris McCullough is another option to slide from the four to the five. Chino Obokoh has the look of a career backup, and while Moustapha Diagne has the shot blocking and rebounding ability to play the center position, he’s not the ideal height.
This is where Bryant comes in. The 6-foot-11 Rochester native is a former Bishop Kearney teammate of Obokoh’s, and Syracuse has long been thought to have the inside track to land the highly coveted big man. Kentucky is another potential destination, but with the logjam at the post position potentially being backed up even more with the very real possibility of Thon Maker joining the Wildcats next year, it’d be hard to imagine Bryant heading to Lexington.
Either way, the Jordan Brand Classic will be another chance for Syracuse’s most highly coveted signee and biggest remaining target to shine on the national stage. The game will be played at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn on April 17.