Thomas Bryant, the 6-foot-9 power forward from Rochester, N.Y., and Huntington (W.V.) Prep, plans to cut his list and set some visits after the USA U17 trials in Colorado Springs, CO.
Syracuse, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio State and Missouri are the schools most heavily recruiting Bryant, while St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Villanova & Florida have begun to recruit him harder, Team Scan coach Oz Cross told SNY.tv.
“Once he gets back we’re going to sit down and narrow down four to five schools that he’s going to be interested in and go from there,” Cross said Friday by phone.
Cross said the final list would be set by September.
Syracuse is focusing on landing a big man as its fifth recruit in the Class of 2015 and has zeroed in on Bryant, who averaged 14.1 points and 13.1 rebounds last season at Huntington Prep.
The Orange already have a four-man class of Malachi Richardson, a 6-5 guard from Trenton, N.J.; Moustapha Diagne, a 6-9 forward from Sparta, N.J.; Tyler Lydon, a 6-9 forward from Pine Plains, N.Y.; and Frank Howard, a 6-5 guard from Fairfax, Va.
“He’s an hour away from Syracuse up in upstate New York,” Cross said of Bryant, who helped Team Scan reach the Peach Jam semifinals, where they lost to the Playaz Basketball Club. “Obviously, kids from upstate watch a lot of ‘Cuse. They’re like a pro team up there. They’ve been looking at him since he was a freshman.
“They know him well and he knows them well, so it’s an option. But it’s not locked in like everybody says it’s locked in.”
Bryant’s mother, Linda, recently said Syracuse was at the top of her son’s list.
“I asked him about what schools he’s interested in,” she told Syracuse.com. “He said, ‘Mom, there’s so many schools and they’re all good.’
“He said Syracuse is still on the top of his list,” Linda Bryant added. “That’s what he told me.”
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim referred to a “mystery” fifth recruit this week, but Cross finds it hard to believe that’s Bryant.
“Thomas is definitely not no mystery, so I don’t think it’s him,” Cross said. “I’m sure it’s somebody else. As far as Thomas is concerned, he’s definitely wide open. Syracuse is an option, I’m not saying it’s not an option. But out of respect to those other schools, he’s going to give all those schools an opportunity to recruit him.”