My friend Matthew DeBritz recently posted an insightful podcast in which his guest, a top recruiting analyst/scout, shed light on a variety of interesting topics relating to Syracuse basketball and the sport of college hoops.
DeBritz’s Dome Dawg podcast featured 247Sports scouting director Adam Finkelstein, who is by far one of the most respected experts in high school recruiting and scouting across the country.
With all the national chatter about name, image and likeness, and how the NCAA is trying to navigate this issue, Finkelstein explained how NIL, the transfer portal, professional opportunities and other factors create a seismic change in the college world, high-school and grassroots basketball recruiting.
One of the main challenges, when it comes to NIL, is that the rules and regulations around it can vary from state to state. And while student-athletes are permitted to earn sponsorship income on their own names, images, and likenesses, NIL offers are not meant to be used in player recruitment processes to influence them to choose a school or conference. specifically.
Syracuse basketball coaches must navigate a confusing NIL situation.
Of course, we don’t live in a fantasy world, and as far as I can tell, high school recruits and even college transfer portal players seem to be attracting ZERO money, some of them in six and seven figures , which is basically a payment of some form to induce them to select a specific team or conference.
From school to school, conference to conference, and state to state, not everyone follows the same NIL rules, and that has led, at least for now, to a clustering of NIL dollars in places like the South and Southeast, not so much on the west coast or in the northeast, where the ‘Cuse is, says Finkelstein.
He notes that just as basketball recruiting is much different than it was a few years ago as there is hopefully more clarity and unison on NIL in the future, this will mean that hoops recruiting will look a lot more different in a few years than where it is today.
By all accounts, according to Finkelstein and others, Syracuse basketball conducted its NIL efforts the right way and as intended, rather than being used as a recruiting tactic.
That being said, when Finkelstein discussed the possibility of Orange signing elite players from high school, like a guy like Carmelo Anthony at the time, NIL is a huge variable these days for top five-star prospects. 10.
For Syracuse basketball to win for a player like Melo on heavyweight recruiting, whether it’s a Duke or a Kentucky, Orange’s NIL has to be comparable – yet another times, not as a recruiting incentive, but rather as something players can take advantage of while playing for the ‘Cuse.
Finkelstein said that setting aside NIL as a competitive advantage (or disadvantage), for Orange to gain a top-10 prospect, then there would have to be what he called a “performance storm” of other factors, such as personal relationships and gambling. – time opportunities based on roster building.
While I frequently write about Syracuse basketball recruiting, I interact with many other fans on social media who lament that the ‘Cuse didn’t prevail at all in recruiting the top 10 to the 20 best players lately. years, dating back even to the days of Anthony, who picked Orange and helped the team win a national title in 2003.
I get all of that, but as Finkelstein notes, many recent NCAA Tournament winners had a lot of veterans on their rosters, so while five-stars and top-10 national rankings are great, signing players who match the Syracuse’s basketball system, and then continuing to develop them after joining the ‘Cuse, is extremely important.
Can the Orange attract a national prospect like Anthony to the Hill? Finkelstein says yes. Does that mean it’s gonna happen? That remains to be seen.
He also points out that if NIL were in place in 2002-03, no one can guess whether Anthony would have committed to the ‘Cuse.
Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14, the Orange have worked their way through a bunch of regular seasons, although the ‘Cuse have had some great Big Dance runs.
Recruiting has certainly dipped in the final stanzas, and NCAA sanctions from several years ago hurt the team, but the 2022 six-member class is a step in the right direction.
Can Syracuse basketball recruit at a similar level to Duke and North Carolina?
It will prove difficult, but as Finkelstein said, high school recruits and college players on the transfer portal view the ACC as an attractive conference to compete for.