Syracuse Basketball Recruiting: Where to Turn After UK Snags Dakari Johnson

Gene SiudutContributor IIIJanuary 8, 2013

January 6, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts against the South Florida Bulls during the second half at the Sun Dome. Syracuse Orange defeated the South Florida Bulls 55-44. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star, all-world center Dakari Johnson decided to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2013.

Much to the chagrin of Syracuse and Georgetown Universities, his other top choices, the blue grass of Kentucky was just more appealing.

Well, that and the top-rated 2013 recruiting class that Kentucky coach John Calipari has put together, yet again.

For Georgetown, which has only signed Reggie Cameron for 2013, Johnson’s slight will leave the cupboard dry.

For Syracuse, the outlook isn’t so bad.

Orange fans should keep in mind that for the 2013-2014 season, the Syracuse roster should consist of 6’9” DaJuan Coleman, 6’9” Rakeem Christmas, 6’10” Baye Keita, 6’8” C.J. Fair and 6’8” Jerami Grant.

That’s just the returnees.

According to ESPN’s class rankings, Syracuse has the No. 8 recruiting class for 2013 already and there are still a few undecided stars who could increase that ranking, including prep-star Andrew Wiggins, who is a long shot, but has expressed interest in Syracuse.

Dakari Johnson seems to be a sure-fire hit, but nothing is certain in recruiting, unless you consider that Johnson is certain to be a one-and-done player.

Not to say that Syracuse couldn’t use a player like Johnson, but the Orange won’t be hurting. Syracuse’s highly-touted incoming class has size and flash. Blue chip guards Tyler Ennis (St. Benedict’s, Newark, NJ) and Ron Patterson (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, NH) will be backed up by blue chip forwards B.J. Johnson (Lower Merion, PA), Tyler Roberson (Roselle Catholic, Union, NJ) and Chinoso Obokoh (Bishop Kearney, Rochester, NY). All are having fantastic senior seasons, with the exception of Obokoh, who has is currently sidelined with a foot injury, but has played well in the few games in which he appeared.

But it doesn’t end there.

For 2014, Syracuse already has a verbal commitment from 6’10” Chris McCullough, who is currently the No. 8 player in Rivals.com’s 2014 recruiting class.

So size won’t be an issue for the next few years, but it usually isn’t with Syracuse. The prototypical Jim Boeheim player is long and athletic and can fit into his system. On the surface, Boeheim is keeping the Carrier Dome stocked with fresh bodies. A closer look shows that Syracuse has been on a recruiting spree for the past few years and doesn’t look to be getting any weaker.

Rest assured, even without Dakari Johnson, the Orange should be just fine. Syracuse didn’t get its man, but the cupboard is definitely stocked for the winter.

If Christmas and Coleman develop the way coach Boeheim hopes, Johnson might have actually had trouble getting playing time anyway.

A headache Boeheim would welcome, but a headache nonetheless.