Syracuse Basketball: Orange in contention for 2020 center Quincy Ballard

Syracuse basketball has offered and made the top five for center Quincy Ballard, a native of Central New York who is a rising star in the 2020 class.

Syracuse basketball, which is trying to beef up its frontcourt, finds itself in a recruiting battle vying for Quincy Ballard, a 2020 center who seems to have flown under the radar on a national scale until recently.

The Orange will face stiff competition for the 7-foot-0 Ballard. Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular-season champion during the 2019-20 campaign, offered him a scholarship late last week.

Other schools that have offered Ballard include Cincinnati, Maryland, N.C. State and UNC Asheville, according to various recruiting Web sites. AllFactsMedia first reported Syracuse’s scholarship offer to Ballard.

On Thursday night, multiple articles said that he has trimmed his list to five finalists, and they are the ‘Cuse, Cincinnati, Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State.

Due to the recent transfers of several guards out of the program, the Orange does have scholarships available for the 2020-21 term. Syracuse scored a solid commitment last weekend when sophomore wing Alan Griffin, a transfer from Illinois, elected to suit up in Central New York for his final two years of eligibility.

Griffin’s pledge probably turns the team’s attention to the frontcourt. Head coach Jim Boeheim himself has said that he has to do a better job of bringing in prospects who are more physical on the interior.

At approximately 246 pounds, and with his length, Ballard is definitely a bit bulkier than other centers currently on the Orange roster. Ballard previously went to Henninger High School in Syracuse, where he is from but has since attended the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.

There’s not a lot of information available about Ballard. The primary recruiting services don’t appear to have ranked him across the 2020 class, although by no means is that an indication Ballard isn’t a formidable player.

For one, the sense is that he has blossomed late in this recruiting cycle. Secondly, if crews like the Orange, FSU and UMD are interested, then that speaks volumes to Ballard’s abilities.

Per a few analysts and journalists, he is anticipated to choose his collegiate destination this Saturday. It remains unclear which group may serve as the favorite to land Ballard.

As far as Syracuse’s efforts to bolster its frontcourt, the Orange missed out on graduate transfers Seth Towns of Harvard and Patrick Tape of Columbia, who picked Ohio State and Duke, respectively.

The Orange has reportedly communicated with traditional transfer Joshua Morgan of Long Beach State and grad transfer Matt Haarms of Purdue. Haarms, though, has heard from a slew of squads.

Should Syracuse secure another center, that would give the Orange four within its present line-up. However, one of those centers, Bourama Sidibe, is a rising senior.

Next: 10 takeaways from 2020 recruiting classes

Because Syracuse has struggled in recent stanzas to score consistently and efficiently in the paint, the Orange certainly could benefit from an additional big man arriving on the Hill this fall.