Men's Basketball

Breaking down how Syracuse men’s basketball’s recruits fit in with the returning players

Daily Orange File Photo

Frank Howard will be the most veteran member on next year's Syracuse team.

The start of the NCAA men’s basketball signing season began on Wednesday. The Orange currently has five returning scholarship players and three commits. SU is also known to be linked to two highly-rated recruits. Forward Jordan Tucker visited this past weekend and guard Tremont Waters is considering SU.

Syracuse will be allowed to roster up to 11 scholarship players on next year’s roster as a result of the NCAA’s eight-year investigation of SU.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Orange stands .

The returners

Guard — Frank Howard
Howard started the first 14 games of the season before losing his rotation minutes to John Gillon. The rising junior averaged 4.5 points and 3.6 assists per game on 16.2 minutes a night. He’s the last recruit from SU’s Class of 2015 after Malachi Richardson got drafted last year and Tyler Lydon declared for the draft this year. He’ll also be the most experienced member of the Orange.

Guard — Tyus Battle
Battle averaged 18.5 points over the last six games of the year. He project to be SU’s centerpiece next season. The freshman had some big moments at Syracuse, like hitting the game-winning buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Clemson.

Forward — Matthew Moyer
Moyer was the No. 74 recruit in the Class of 2016, per ESPN. After a foot injury kept Moyer limited in the preseason, the decision was made for him to redshirt.

“He would be the ninth, 10th man, and that guy doesn’t play much anyway,” Jim Boeheim said in November. “He’s not in shape. It’d be foolish for him to play this year when he can play at the other end (and) have a senior year like Trevor Cooney did last year.”

Forward/Center — Taurean Thompson
Thompson showed the ability to score in bunches (six games of at least 18 points). The next step is ensuring that he stays out of foul trouble.

Center — Paschal Chukwu
Chukwu’s 7-foot-2 frame provided a lot of hope in the middle of the Orange’s 2-3 zone. He seemed very timid in the games he played and missed most of the season after getting surgery to repair a torn retina.

recruits

Commits

Forward — Oshae Brissett
Ranked with four stars and a scout grade of 84, per ESPN. The highest-rated Syracuse commit, Brissett could challenge Moyer for a starting forward spot, or start alongside him, depending on if Thompson starts at forward or center.

Center — Bourama Sidibe
Ranked with four stars and a scout grade of 82, per ESPN. Ranked the 15th-best center in the class. Has the exact same physicals (6-foot-10, 225 pounds) as Thompson.

Guard — Howard Washington
Ranked with four stars and a scout grade of 80, per ESPN. From Buffalo, New York and projects as the only other scholarship point guard, along with Frank Howard. Played with Brissett this past year at Athlete Institute Basketball Academy.

Targets

Guard — Tremont Waters
Ranked with four stars and a scout grade of 89, per ESPN. Ranked No. 33 in ESPN’s Top 100. Was committed to Georgetown before getting a release, but is now still considering the Hoyas after hire of new head coach Patrick Ewing. Was teammates with Matthew Moyer at South Kent (Connecticut) High School.

Forward — Jordan Tucker
Ranked with four stars and a scout grade of 88, per ESPN. Ranked No. 40 in ESPN’s Top 100. Tucker took a visit to campus the weekend of April 8, and tweeted out a picture of himself in a Syracuse uniform, but stressed that it wasn’t a commitment.

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