With the departures of guards Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche and forward James Southerland, Syracuse will enter the ACC without three of its top four scorers from a season ago. That fact makes this a good summer for the program to take a summer trip to Canada, where they’ll play two games apiece in Montreal and Ottawa before returning home.
However with their departure date just days away, the Orange could be without the services of two of their five incoming freshmen, as it was reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard that Chinoso Obokoh and Tyler Roberson are still awaiting clearance from the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.
“I don’t know if they’ll be cleared in time to go on this trip,” [Syracuse head coach Jim] Boeheim said.
The SU coach said he and his staff are unclear whether the players can practice without Clearinghouse consent, so Boeheim likely will hold them out until he learns otherwise. Boeheim said SU is “still talking to the Clearinghouse” hoping to get a resolution before the Canada trip.
It was also noted in the story that Boeheim expected the two freshmen to be cleared at some point, it’s just a matter of whether or not that answer comes before the team is scheduled to leave for Montreal.
Syracuse’s other three freshmen, Tyler Ennis, B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson, are all cleared and ready to go for the trip, which Syracuse is scheduled to begin on August 20. Of the five freshmen Ennis is the most important, as he’ll take over at the point for the departed Carter-Williams.
While having to deal with clearinghouse issues is certainly a nuisance, the “positive” for Syracuse is that these issues are occurring with players who play positions where the Orange have depth. Forwards C.J. Fair (14.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Jerami Grant (3.9, 3.0) are both back for another season, and with Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman and Baye Keita in the paint Syracuse won’t lack for options in the middle of their 2-3 zone either.
The Orange finished the 2012-13 season with a 30-10 record, losing to Michigan in the Final Four.
Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is the most electrifying lead guard in the Class of 2017. The native of Delaware dominated the Under Armour circuit this spring and is currently regarded by many as a top-five player in the class by most recruiting services.
Now he’s down to 10 schools as his recruiting is starting to become more of a focus. The 6-foot-2 Duval is down to Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UCLA, USC and Villanova.
Things are still early in the process for Duval and it will be interesting to see if he schedules any official visits soon.
Ohio State has lost quite a few transfers and hasn’t had a lot go their way with regards to recent recruiting, but things could be changing after a good weekend.
The Class of 2018 is starting to look really good for the Buckeyes as they landed commitments from wings Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens this weekend. The two in-state products are grassroots teammates together on King James and they give Ohio State three commitments in that class.
Bazley is considered a four-star prospect on Rivals while Ahrens checks in as a three-star. They join another Ohio native, guard Dane Goodwin, in the class as this could be the group that helps bring Ohio State back in regular Big Ten contention.
Butler picked up an important commitment on Monday as four-star forward Kyle Young committed to the Bulldogs.
A Class of 2017 stretch forward who can hit jumpers and has an improving skill set, the 6-foot-7 Young comes from Massillon, Ohio and he’s regarded as the No. 109 overall prospect.
Young was impressive in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer with King James as he averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as he shot 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.
This is a nice grab for Butler as Young is the type of versatile perimeter shooter that they like to utilize and he should be able to help a bit on the glass as well.
Young joins a class that includes guards Cooper Neese and Jerald Butler.
Earlier this summer, we told you the story of Collin Sexton, how the 6-foot-2 Georgia native went from being a mid-major recruit to a five-star prospect being courted by the likes of Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Villanova.
It’s because he’s a bucket-getter.
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He averaged 31 points in the Nike EYBL circuit, nine points better than Michael Porter, who finished second in the league in scoring. No one puts points on the board like he does, so it’s only fitting that he was the guy that made a shot from the balcony during ‘The Trip’, Nike’s effort to keep kids associated with their brand from Elite 24:
UCLA capped their three-game trip to Australia on Sunday night with a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets, a game in which sophomore point guard Aaron Holiday finished with a team-high 17 points. Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton both added 16 points and freshman Ike Anigbogu finished with 13 points and 10 boards.
This win came just two days after the Bruins lost to Melbourne United, 89-84, when Hamilton — 18 points and five assists — and Holiday — 16 points — were both once again impressive. Alford also added 18 points in Friday’s loss.
It’s not surprising that the Bruins had some up and down performances abroad. Everyone does. It’s what happens when a team of college kids, with three freshmen playing key roles, heads to the other side of the world to square off against teams made up of professionals. Don’t go hanging the ‘Fire Steve Alford’ banners on anymore airplanes just yet.
There are, however, two interesting things to consider from this trip:
– Lonzo Ball, UCLA’s star freshman, was, at best, their fourth-best perimeter player. Seniors Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford and sophomore Aaron Holiday all played well and posted impressive numbers on the three-game trip. Ball? He didn’t shoot well. At all. In UCLA’s 47-point opening win, he was 3-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-3 from three, putting together was was by far his best shooting performance of the trip. In the three games, he shot a total of 25 percent (9-36) from the field and 19 percent (4-21) from three. He did average 5.0 assists and, in one game, notched 13 boards, but Ball’s ability to shoot will be something to keep an eye on.
– And then there’s this, from Bryce Alford:
UCLA needs to travel with more towels.