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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.
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Friday / December 15.
  • Syracuse, UConn Among Schools Targeting Eric Ayala for Reclassification in 2017

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    Having both lost out on high-profile Class of 2017 guards, Syracuse and UConn are focusing on a 2018 guard whom they hope will reclass.

    Eric Ayala, the 6-foot-5, 2018 guard from Putnam Science (CT) Academy, is considering reclassifying to the 2017 class, and Syracuse and UConn are hoping he reclasses down a year. Both schools missed out on guards who chose Kentucky when Quade Green spurned Syracuse for the Wildcats and Hamidou Diallo on Saturday denied UConn to head to the Bluegrass.

    “Eric has been a priority for Syracuse, UConn, Indiana, and Maryland the past for the past year,” Terrell Myers of the WE-R1 AAU program told ZAGSBLOG on Sunday. “Lately Syracuse has done a great job communicating with us about how important he is. We haven’t made a decision on which year he will come out. At the moment we are looking for the school that fits his style of play and where he will make the greatest impact.”

    Syracuse’s point guard play has been an issue since Tyler Ennis left after a one-and-done season in 2014, and Coach Jim Boeheim has frequently talked about the weakness at the position this season.

    Meantime, UConn spent several years invested in the 6-6 Diallo, who on Saturday chose Kentucky, where he may or may not play this semester as he contemplates his NBA Draft future.

    That leaves Ayala, who was Diallo’s Putnam Science teammate, as a highly attractive option going forward.

    “There’s a chance, it’s in the dark right now,” Ayala told Scout.com on the possibility of reclassifying. “I’m not really focused on it right now but it’s something I’ll think about toward the end of the year towards graduation when it comes out who is where, what’s going on in college, where I want to be at, how I feel.

    “[Syracuse] is recruiting me in ’18 but would like for me to come in ’17 if I wanted to,” he said. “But a lot of schools are recruiting me to like ’18 but if I want to come in ’17 some will let me if it makes sense.”

    Ayala also holds offers from Arizona, St. John’s, Miami, Memphis, Rutgers, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Temple among others.

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    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.