Dajuan Decides Today
The search for Syracuse’s next hometown player and headliner of the 2012 recruiting class figures to come to an end this afternoon when Dajuan Coleman makes his college announcement. By all reports, SU has led in Coleman’s recruitment the whole way despite a hard run by Kentucky and overtures from Ohio State. As we know, the Orange has been tied to him for a long time now – as a senior at SU in 2008, I remember hearing whispers about the burly forward/center – so the relationship appears to run very deep, which can only work in Syracuse’s favor.
While recruiting can be frustrating to follow with high school kids committing and backing out or pushing back their announcement dates, Coleman has never struck me as the type who likes to keep the spotlight on him by keeping everyone guessing. From an observer’s perspective, he’s gone about his recruitment very quietly, especially considering the attention he’s attracted from scouts. The fact that he moved up his announcement date by a couple of weeks compounded by recalling that he visited Syracuse officially over the weekend suggests that he’s ready to make his decision and be done with it, and my guess is that Jim Boeheim will be a happy camper come 2:30 this afternoon. Verbal commitments aren’t binding, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Calipari stayed on him even after Coleman’s announcement (part of me expects it), but my gut feeling has him picking ‘Cuse.
Having Coleman in the mix for 2012-13 and potentially beyond would be huge for the Orange, as it would cement the back of the zone as a major strength heading into the future. A frontcourt depth chart consisting in some order of Coleman, Fab Melo, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Keita would challenge the Mariana Trench and make low post scoring extremely difficult for opponents. Offensively, it would be plenty capable of keeping defenses honest. Despite the occasionally unpredictable nature of recruiting, I’m fairly confident that Coleman will stay in Upstate New York for his college career.
On another note, I’m excited to have contributed to this season’s Orange Tip-Off preview magazine, which will be available very soon in digital formats for your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Kindle or, for those of you who are old-fashioned….your computer. There won’t be a print version, unless you want to give your machine a workout reminiscent of Jonny Flynn’s freshman season, but the digital format is priced cheaper than last season’s magazine. With a similar if not increased amount and quality of awesome content, you’ll get a ton of value here. If you picked up last season’s edition (and a long-overdue “thank you” to those who did), hopefully you enjoyed it enough to give it another go.
If you waited too long last season and missed out or couldn’t swing the cost, here’s a chance to get back on top of things. From me, you’ll find player profiles of Rakeem Christmas, Brandon Triche and Matt Lyde-Cajuste as well as a lengthier story on Adrian Autry and a glimpse into the lives of some of the support staff who work behind the scenes to make SU basketball go. The list of fellow contributors is comprised of great writers who you’ll recognize from the Syracuse blogosphere/Twitterverse, so you’ll have all you need to get ready for what is shaping up to be a terrific season of Syracuse hoops. Keep an eye out here or on the vaunted Twitter feed for more details as they become available.