Syracuse, NY – Questions sent to Mike’s mailbox from readers sometimes offer a new perspective on things.
A perfect example is the first question this week. These are the official campus tours that recruits make during their recruiting process. We hear about official campus tours all the time. Fans are very careful about which rookie goes where each weekend.
But what about the visit itself? What does this imply? What is allowed and what is against NCAA rules.
We’ll start there and then dive into a lot of other questions.
Q: I’m curious what benefits rookies receive during an official visit to the League campus? Is there a dollar limit on SU merchandise offered to them?
Mike: I thought this was a very timely question given that Syracuse has two recruits on campus this weekend for official visits.
Peter Carey, a 6-11 center from Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Mass., And Chris Bunch, a 6-7 forward from Wasatch (Utah) Academy, are both highly regarded rookies in the 2022 class and will perform official visits. This weekend.
NCAA rules limit what schools / coaches can offer rookies and their families during tours.
Recruits cannot receive money or merchandise. If a recruit wants material from Syracuse, she or her parents have to pay the price.
The trip itself is fully paid for by the school. This includes travel, hotel and meals in town. As for travel, the school can cover airfare for the recruit and their immediate family. If a recruit is in a prep school away from home, they can be airlifted from a location while the family arrives from their hometown.
If a recruit or their family live within driving distance, the school can arrange a car service. If the family wants to drive, the school can reimburse them for gasoline and mileage.
A normal visit will consist of observing a workout or practice, a visit to the Carmelo K. Anthony Center, a tour of the Carrier Dome, a campus tour, and academic meetings with a representative of an area of interest. There’s usually a photoshoot where the rookie dons a Syracuse uniform and poses for a few shots.
NCAA rules state that all activity with a rookie while visiting must take place within a 30 mile radius of campus.
The campus tour can only last 48 hours, so if the family arrives at noon on a Friday, the tour must end at noon on Sunday.
Q: Which Syracuse player has come off the bench in most games of his career?
Mike: It was an intriguing question because the answer was probably going to be a player who spent all four years at Syracuse, was good enough to contribute but was never quite able to break into the starting lineup consistently.
I found five Syracuse players who have appeared in over 100 games off the bench. And four of them were centers.
Derek Brower has appeared in 108 games in his career and started three, giving him 105 games off the bench. Elvir Ovcina has played 113 games and started six for a total of 107 benched.
Jeremy McNeil, a key reserve for the 2003 League National Championship team, played 135 games and started 21 of them. That means he has come off the bench in 114 games.
Herman Harried, who suffered a debilitating knee injury, has played 117 games and started only one.
But the SU player with the most career games played off the bench is Baye Moussa Keita. A Syracuse fan favorite, Keita has played 142 games and started 11. That gives him 131 games played off the bench, more than most SU players in their careers.
Ironically, one of Keita’s 11 departures happened by accident. He was mistakenly entered as a starter for a game in Pittsburgh.
Q: Is Joe Girard the smallest goalie to play at the top of zone 2-3?
Mike: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone is conducive to bigger goalies.
The likes of Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Cheat, Adrian Autry and Lazarus Sims have excelled atop the zone defense.
Joe Girard is listed at 6 feet, 1 inch. He’s not a great point guard, but he’s also not the smallest to play in Boeheim’s system.
Jonny Flynn and Allen Griffin were both rated at 6 feet the same. John Gillon was 6 feet tall in the League media guide, but that could have been overkill. Meanwhile, Gerry McNamara and Tyler Ennis were both listed at 6ft 2, which could have been generous either way.
Q: How many players will the women’s SU team have to start the season? We’re going to the Bahamas to watch both teams and see if the women will have enough players.
Mike: Syracuse’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas in November. The women’s tournament will take place from November 20 to 22 and the men’s tournament from November 24 to 26.
Syracuse’s women’s program has seen unprecedented upheaval in the last offseason, including reports of bad behavior and mistreatment of players by former coach Quentin Hillsman, who ultimately resigned. In total, 12 players from last year’s squad have decided to transfer.
But Syracuse has filled its range. The women’s roster currently consists of 11 players with three former players from last year as well as an influx of transfers and freshmen.
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