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Howard Picks Syracuse, Giving Orange Top Class In Country

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:02am

Four-star shooting guard Franklin Howard committed to Syracuse Monday night, becoming the third top-100 recruit to pledge to the Orange in the 2015 class. Howard is rated the No. 58 overall player and the No. 17 shooting guard in the class by Scout.

Howard’s commitment was critical to the future success of coach Jim Boeheim’s program. Syracuse will be going through a rebuilding period next season, and Kaleb Joseph will be the only true point guard on the roster when Howard arrives in 2015-16. Howard gives the Orange backcourt depth as a combo guard, and his career projection is for him to move fully to the point guard position over time. The Syracuse coaching staff believes his size, at 6-6, and skillset reflect that of Michael Carter-Williams, the former Orange point guard who was selected with the 11th pick in last year’s NBA Draft.

Howard joins five-star guard Malachi Richardson and four-star forward Tyler Lydon in Syracuse’s 2015 class, which is quickly shaping up to be one of the best in the country. While it’s very early in the recruiting cycle, the Orange are ranked as the No. 1 class in the country by 247Sports. It should be noted, though, that the Orange are the only high major team with three prospects already committed.

Still, the foundation for the 2015 class indicates it could be one of the best Syracuse has recruited in the past decade. The three commitments have 13 total stars for an average star rating of 4.33 and an average position ranking of 10.3 by Scout. Here’s how that compares to Boeheim’s classes in the last 10 years:

Syracuse_Recruiting_Class_2015.jpg

Note: Scout doesn't have team rankings for 2015 yet. The Orange are No. 1 in 247Sports' team ranking. All other rankings are Scout's.

Boeheim’s recruiting has spiked recently, and the 2015 class is already in the conversation for the best one he’s pulled in since winning the national championship in 2003. 

Syracuse isn’t done recruiting this class, either. With the departure of Jerami Grant, the Orange are only using 10 scholarships next season as it currently stands. When Rakeem Christmas graduates in 2015, Boeheim will have four scholarships to administer to recruits.

Landing Moustapha Diagne would be the icing on the cake. The 6-8, 230-pound power forward recruit is a four-star prospect and the No. 4 power forward in the 2015 class, according to Scout. He’s been a longtime Syracuse lean, with the question being more “when” than “if” he’ll commit to the Orange.

That would give Syracuse four commitments with 17 total stars, a 4.25 average star rating and an 8.75 average position ranking. No Syracuse class in the past decade comes close to that sort of star power and depth.

Next year could be a tough one for Syracuse, at least by its standards, but with the class it signed in 2014 and what Boeheim is piecing together for 2015, a much brighter future lies just around the corner.