McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant Chooses Indiana over favored Syracuse Orange

It looks like the violations sanctioned against the Syracuse Orange’s Men’s Basketball Team are showing signs of hurting the program. After losing sophomore forward B.J. Johnson and sophomore guard Ron Patterson to transfers and freshman power forward Chris McCullough declaring for the NBA draft, Thomas Bryant chose Indiana over Syracuse, Kentucky, and Missouri.Thomas-Bryant-222x300

Syracuse was considered the favorite to land Bryant since he is from nearby Rochester, NY where he played at Bishop Kearney High School before transferring to Huntington Prep in West Virginia for the last two seasons. However, Bryant said he had not communicated much with Syracuse over the last few months and felt Indiana made the strongest pitch to land him.

“I haven’t talked to them in a while, to be honest. I talked, not to Jim (Boeheim), but (to) Mike Hopkins at the Hoophall Classic a couple months ago. That’s the last time I talked to them.”

Maybe the reduction in scholarships swayed Bryant’s decision. He believed Syracuse would find a scholarship for him, but his mother had previously stated “we’re trying to get a few things figured out” after the NCAA took away three scholarships from Syracuse per year for the next four years. Yet, the confusion over the sanctions and Syracuse’s lack of communication must have scared Bryant.

“The one thing I saw it they aren’t going to let scholarships in for 2015 if you haven’t committed yet. I heard you could release some, get some. They told my mom they have a scholarship because they let two people go. As far as I know, that’s what my mom told me.”

This was a terrible move by Syracuse. I know they have had a lot on their plate the last few months, but to not go hard after Bryant cost them one of the top recruits in the country. Look for the Orange to have a rough for years with so much up in the air on whether assistant Coach Mike Hopkins will still take over for Coach Boeheim at the end of the next three years as was the plan prior to the sanctions placed on Syracuse.

And that’s as I see it!

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