Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
This will be a huge weekend for the future of the Syracuse basketball team — and not just because the No. 2 Orange are hosting defending national champion UConn.
The Orange will play host to a couple of recruits who could well influence the future of their program.
Nerlens Noel, a 6-foot-10 shot-blocking center from the Tilton (N.H.) School who is in the midst of reclassifying to 2012, and Tyler Ennis of St. Benedict’s Prep, arguably the top point guard in the Class of 2013, will both be on campus.
“It’s a great thing for Syracuse, that’s for sure,” St. Benedict’s coach Mark Taylor told SNY.tv. “Those two [potentially] playing together, it’s a great fit.”
“Noel will fit in great because of his ability to block shots with that zone they play. I told Tyler it fits his game as well with his length on defense and his IQ and his anticipation playing that zone. And his ability to run out of that zone. It’s a great fit for both of them and playing together it would hard to beat that.”
The odds of them actually playing together remain slim. Even if both pick Syracuse, Noel is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and would be gone before Ennis, a native of Toronto, ever steps on campus.
Still, both players remain open.
Noel still plans to visit Kentucky later this month and is also considering Providence, Georgetown, North Carolina and Florida, among others.
Ennis, who is at Syracuse now but will return in time for the big game against St. Patrick on Sunday in the PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, is also mulling Georgia Tech, Kansas, Arizona and Louisville, among others.
He and his father are still planning dates for other visits.
“No question, he’s wide open,” Taylor, whose team is No. 12 in the Five Star Power Rankings, said of Ennis.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.