Syracuse Basketball Recruiting Update: Top Target Bamba Trims List

Some good and bad news for the Syracuse basketball team on the recruiting front. Here’s what happened over the weekend for the Orange.

A dose of good and bad news on the Syracuse basketball recruiting front.

Four-star forward Oshae Brissett, one of two prospects to have committed to SU’s 2017 class, took in the Boston College domination on Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

He visited the Central New York campus along with his high-school teammate, senior combo guard Howard Washington, who is presently on the Orange’s radar screen. This is encouraging.

On the flip side, five-star center Mohamed Bamba, a consensus top-five recruit in next year’s class, told Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog on Saturday that he is down to four schools: Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas.

At the same time, he has eliminated Connecticut, Harvard and Syracuse. Total bummer. More on this below.

Let’s get back to Washington. The Buffalo, N.Y., native had previously served in the 2016 class,

committing to Butler. However, he reneged on that commitment, reclassifying to 2017.

His coach at Athlete Institute Prep in Mono, Ontario, has told Syracuse.com that the 6-2 Washington “absolutely loves Syracuse.” The Orange reportedly has interest in him, but head coach Jim Boeheim and his staff have yet to offer Washington a scholarship.

ESPN.com slots him as a four-star player, giving him a grade of 80. Scout.com, meanwhile, says Washington is a three-star recruit. He is noted as a three-star prospect by 247Sports and ranked No. 16 at the combo-guard position.

According to various recruiting websites, Washington holds offers from numerous schools, including Boston College, George Washington and Virginia Tech.

When word spread that he watched the BC contest with Brissett, Syracuse fans began to blow up Washington’s Twitter page. It’s no secret that SU is in desperate need of a point guard for the 2017-18 campaign. Sophomore Frank Howard, at the moment, is the only lead guard slated for next year’s roster.

Washington is not an ultra-high-level recruit, however, his stock appears on the rise. Furthermore, the ‘Cuse has swung and miss on so many elite prospects that perhaps focusing on three- and four-year guys is the way to go.

Speaking of those heart-wrenching misses, Syracuse seemed a long-shot to land the 6-11 Bamba, who is from Harlem, N.Y., and attends the Westtown School in West Chester, Pa.

Duke and Kentucky, unsurprisingly, are viewed as the co-favorites to land his services. Nevertheless, it still stinks to continually lose out on top-flight targets. This winter has proved especially brutal.

The list of notable prospects to spurn SU for others is quite extensive. Besides Bamba, other examples include Shai Alexander, Matt Coleman, Hamidou Diallo, Quade Green, Billy Preston, Brandon Randolph, Nick Richards, Jordan Tucker and Lonnie Walker. Yikes.

In all fairness, these aforementioned studs have chosen heavyweight programs such as Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and Miami. As my colleagues and I at Inside The Loud House have documented, it appears more and more likely that Boeheim’s impending retirement after the 2017-18 stanza has affected recruiting efforts.

Boeheim and his assistant coaches may deny it. But when this many high-profile recruits pass on the Orange, you have to at least start to wonder.

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