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Saturday Spotlight: Syracuse

In this new weekly feature, we will be taking a look at various recruiting classes in the class of 2011 and analyze each player and the impact the prospects will have on their collegiate team. In the first edition of “Saturday Spotlight,” we will break down Syracuse’s recruiting class which includes center Rakeem Christmas (#20), shooting guard Michael Carter-Williams (#24) and shooting guard Trevor Cooney.

Introduction

Orangemen head coach Jim Boeheim pulled in the number eight recruiting class in the country this year after a disappointing early exit in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He is bringing in a couple of fantastic shooters to help Syracuse’s three-point shooting attack as well as an elite rebounder and defender who will really help the Orangemen’s 2-3 zone. Check out how Christmas, Carter-Williams and Cooney will help Syracuse remain a top Big East contender.

A Quick Look

Prospects

Rank

Pos. Rank

Quick Analysis

Rakeem Christmas

#20

C (#1)

Christmas is an outstanding  shot-blocker and rebounder  but can improve on his scoring productivity. Christmas seems to get a large majority of his points off put-backs and tip-ins, which is good, but struggles to create his own shot inside the paint.

Michael Carter-Williams

#24

SG (#7)

Carter-Williams is a big-time scoring guard who can drain threes well beyond the arc, hit a mid-range jumper or floater  and can take it to the bucket where he has the court vision to dish it to an open teammate.

Trevor Cooney

NR

SG (NR)

Cooney is an outstanding shooter who does an excellent job of getting off his shot and creating separation between him and his defender. He is also surprisingly athletic and recently showed an improved mid-range game.

Analysis

Although Syracuse lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Marquette last year, the Orangmen have a lot to look forward to this year since they are only losing power forward Rick Jackson. Syracuse finished third in the Big East and has two great shooters coming in between Carter-Williams and Cooney to improve an awful three-point shooting attack which was tied for 132 in the NCAA a year ago behind teams like North Carolina Central and Indiana State. Syracuse is also replacing Jackson with the top center in the class of 2011 in Christmas. Christmas is an elite defender and rebounder who will fit nicely into the 2-3 zone and will give the Orangemen a good front court between him, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph.

Video


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