As a senior, the big man pledges to play like a 4-star

One of the major recruiting services recently released its final national ranking of the top 150 players in the Class of 2022, and I’ve been scouring that list to see if Syracuse basketball signee Maliq Brown made the cut.

The 6-foot-9 Brown, an outstanding power forward from Virginia, unfortunately didn’t. That recruiting service, On3, places him as a three-star player in the 2022 cycle, but Brown doesn’t have another national ranking here.

It got me thinking. I often preface in my columns that I am not a recruiting analyst or scout, and my opinions are just, well, my opinions.

But given the stellar senior season Brown boasted for Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va., I personally feel like he deserves a little more respect nationally.

Then again, he’ll be hitting the Hill soon, the recruiting rankings won’t mean much at all, and we’ll all get to watch him dress for the ‘Cuse in the 2022-23 term, which I think’ it can have an impact for Orange.

Syracuse Basketball 2022 commitment Maliq Brown has earned several accolades as a senior.

In the 2021-22 stanza, Brown was an integral part of Blue Ridge School’s roster, as the Barons went 30-5 and captured the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (“VISAA”) Division II championship.

At the end of last term, MaxPreps ranked Blue Ridge School as the #4 team in all of Virginia. And Brown has been spectacular, averaging 15.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.5 blocks per contest, per MaxPreps.

For his efforts, The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Va. named him Central Virginia Player of the Year in 2021-22. Brown was also the VISAA Division II Player of the Year and All-State Division II First Team.

Listen, I understand the level of competition for Brown might not have been as fierce as it was for the other Syracuse Basketball 2022 signers. That’s fair.

And maybe because he adapted to the Central Virginia market, scouting analysts and scouts didn’t see him play too often, and that might have made it harder for Brown to be very well classified.

For my money, however, Brown played as a four-star prospect in the 2022 class in his senior year.

So On3 didn’t have him in their top 150 rankings for 2022. The On3 Consensus, when I wrote this column, ranked him #222 nationally, #41 at the forefront and No. 11 in Virginia.

ESPN, when it recently released its final ratings for 2022, put Brown at three stars, No. 42 at the forefront and No. 8 in Virginia. Rivals.com, meanwhile, has him as a three-star and No. 31 in his position.

Brown is also not on the national rankings, according to 247Sports, which counts him as a three-star, No. 54 at the forefront and No. 9 in Virginia.

The industry-generated 247Sports Composite, at the time of this writing, ranked Brown as a three-star, No. 229 nationwide, No. 49 at the forefront and No. 9 in Virginia.

Again, a few months from now when the 2022-23 season kicks off for Syracuse basketball, the recruiting rankings of its six 2022 commitments will be pretty much irrelevant.

Brown, I think, is going to surprise some Orange fans and national pundits by doing some really positive and impactful things in his first campaign for the ‘Cuse.

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