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Though it’s unclear whether Syracuse men’s basketball will suit-up for the 2020-21 season, the Orange’s 2021 roster continues to take shape.
The Orange currently have 10 out of 13 players on their 2021 scholarship list, though that number is likely to grow. Several offers are pending, and more are sure to follow in the coming months. Buddy Boeheim does not count as a scholarship player because of head coach Jim Boeheim’s status as a university employee. The biggest wildcard for 2021, though, is 5-star verbal commit Dior Johnson.
Johnson, the top-ranked point guard in his class according to 247sports, was initially expected to be a member of the 2022 class after his verbal commitment in February. But reports in July revealed that Johnson is considering reclassifying to the 2021 class, making him a 17-year-old freshman.
With Johnson, Boeheim, Joe Girard III and current freshman combo guard Kadary Richmond, Syracuse would have one of its deepest and most versatile backcourts in recent memory.
Johnson, a point guard from Saugerties, New York, would join 4-star recruit Benny Williams as the two verbal commits for the 2021 class. Williams, a 6-foot-8 wing from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Maryland), should immediately play a role in the Orange’s rotation along with 2020 transfer Alan Griffin, sophomore Quincy Guerrier and Class of 2020 forward Woody Newton.
“I’m planning on coming in and making an immediate impact,” Williams told The Daily Orange after his verbal commitment in June.
The eighth-ranked small forward and 44th-overall player in his class according to 247sports, Williams chose Syracuse over local programs in Maryland and Georgetown, along with Miami. The Washington Post labeled Williams as the best player on the best team in St. Andrew’s history following his junior season, in which he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds a game and was named first-team All-Met.
The biggest transition in 2021 will be in the Orange’s frontcourt. With Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe graduating this coming May, a number of players will vie for the starting center role. Then-junior Jesse Edwards, John Bol Ajak and Class of 2020 big Frank Anselem will compete in a new-look frontcourt.
The frontcourt is also where Syracuse is likely to target more recruits and transfers, given that Edwards is the only current player who will be older than a sophomore by 2021. The Orange currently have offers extended to 2021 4-star centers Frank Kepnang and Micawber Etienne, though neither has SU in their top-five schools, according to 247sports.
Syracuse target Micawber Etienne, a 6’10 Brewster Academy senior: pic.twitter.com/qiB5Im7Mxj
— Matthew Gutierrez (@MatthewGut21) August 12, 2020
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Syracuse has also extended offers to 4-star forwards John Camden and Arthur Kaluma, along with unranked power forward Ashton Smith.
If Johnson successfully reclassifies into the Class of 2021, and Syracuse adds more frontcourt competition and depth, it will bring the Orange closer to completing their 2021 roster.
The post SU men’s basketball continues recruiting for 2021, 10 on scholarship appeared first on The Daily Orange.