Under legendary head coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse basketball has become known for its bread-and-butter defense: the 2-3 zone. However, on the other side of the ball, the Orange has long featured an attacking offense, which emphasizes ball screens, and is heavy on pick-and-roll action. This kind of scheme requires talented guard play.
Over the weekend, Kaleb Joseph became the latest talented guard to pick Syracuse. The 6-2, 170-pound point guard from New Hampshire committed to the Orange on Saturday. Joseph, who plays his prep ball for the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., is the second member of Syracuse’s 2014 recruiting class.He joins prized forward (and Bronx, New York native) Chris McCullough, in what is shaping up to be another potent recruiting class for Boeheim.
ESPN Recruiting Nation and 247Sports.com rank Joseph as the 51st-best and 41st-best prospect in the nation, respectively. But after an impressive summer on the AAU circuit, do not be surprised to see these rankings jump. According to Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard, “Joseph stamped himself as a rising star while playing for the Mass Rivals AAU team.”
This summer, the Syracuse coaches decided they wanted Joseph, and they went out and got him. ESPN’s senior recruiting analyst Dave Telep tweeted on Saturday (Aug. 17): “Kaleb Joseph to Syracuse is no shock. No one recruited him longer or harder. Boeheim himself put in a lot of time.”
Playing time will likely not come cheap, though, for Joseph. Tyler Ennis, a top point guard recruit from the 2013 class, is already on campus, and will likely be handed the keys to the point guard position from the first day. Joseph, however, embraces being the underdog, and refused to let a potential position battle deter him from selecting the school of his dreams, telling Adam Finkelstein of ESPN: “Everybody said I'd never get out of here. I like the underdog role. It keeps me grounded and motivated.”
Below are highlights from Joseph's junior season.