Syracuse Gains Momentum With Transfer Paschal Chukwu

“Syracuse offered Providence transfer Paschal Chukwu this weekend on his visit. He committed, and confirmed the news that Stacey Davis of NYCHoops.net first reported.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse Gains Momentum With Transfer Paschal Chukwu

The Orange needed a big man after the departure of senior Rakeem Christmas and the inconsistency of DaJuan Coleman. Although Chukwu won’t be eligible for next season, his transfer commitment will certainly help the depth at the center position. The sophomore will have three seasons after he sits out the upcoming season.

With all the controversy with Syracuse’s infractions and the uncertainty of head coach Jim Boeheim’s position, the Orange needed a positive step in recruiting. Chukwu’s commitment is a great start. He will be a dominating presence in the middle of Boeheim’s 2-3 zone; he stands 7 foot 2 inches and blocks shots like it’s for breakfast.

The news of Chukwu also comes with the news of Tyus Battle. Battle, a five-star guard in the class of 2016, recently decommitted from Michigan right before a weekend visit to Syracuse. Battle is a quality scorer for his age. He is also aggressive on defense and knows how to read passing lanes, something that would be a positive in the zone. He would be another big get for the Orange, and get the ball rolling for a class that could give Boeheim one last run.

Battle’s dad was upbeat about his son’s visit, telling Syracuse.com, “We had a nice visit to Syracuse. It’s a nice town, the weather was good.”

The Orange need some big man help in the biggest way. Departing center Christmas accounted for 95 percent of the scoring from the centers on the roster; Chinonso Obokoh made up the other five percent with .8 points per game. While Chukwu isn’t eligible to help next season, and he only scored 2.6 points per game for the Friars last season, his situation wasn’t ideal to post big numbers. The Friars had two of the better scorers in the country in Kris Dunn and LaDonte Henton. Chukwu was also just a freshman in a major conference.

With a year to focus on getting better, Chukwu will get good coaching from the Syracuse staff. Take Christmas for example; he averaged 5.9 points per game as a junior, only to increase that average to 17.5 points per game as a senior. If Chukwu can show a fraction of that improvement, he should be a factor for the Orange in a couple of seasons.”