5-Star Decommits From Syracuse
On the heels of a sweet sixteen run, Syracuse was handed a major blow to next season's prospects. Darius Bazley, Syracuse's top recruit, has officially decommitted from the Orange on Thursday. Instead, Bazley will become the first top prospect to forego collegiate basketball to play in the NBA's G League.
At 6' 9", Bazley was to be the focal point for Syracuse's stagnant offense from this past season. A shooter, and just flat out scorer, bazley was a sure shoe-in for the power forward position in the Syracuse frontcourt.
A projected top-10 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Bazley could pave the way for a number of future top high school players. Bazley was the highest ranked recruit to commit to Syracuse since Carmelo Anthony in 2002.
Bazley went over his decision with Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania:
"This is a life-changing decision. I put a lot of thinking into this with my mom and close circle, especially sitting down with her. It’s just like making the decision to which college you want to go to. Me and her did some talking, and I prayed on it. I talked to my high school coach, Steve, who played overseas, and then I talked to a couple of guys in the G League who have experience. Ultimately, playing professional basketball has always been my dream. It’s always going to be the dream goal, always going to be the goal until I achieve it. This is going to put me one step closer to doing so."
Bazley's decision puts Syracuse in an odd position. How do they fill the void of a 5-star freshman? Marek Dolezaj, who had a great close to last season will likely be starting in the power forward role next season, but can they replace all that Bazley would've brought to the team? Head coach Jim Boeheim will have another tough task ahead of him heading into next season.