Any lingering concern Syracuse could be without one of its top recruits next season vanished Thursday when Chris McCullough received the test score he had been working toward.
The 6-foot-10 forward learned he had scored high enough on his most recent ACT test to ensure freshman eligibility, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported. As a result, McCullough is expected to be on campus for summer school next month.
Anxiety over McCullough's status arose this week because Syracuse's other top recruit, Kaleb Joseph, is already on campus but McCullough is not. McCullough had previously told reporters at the Jordan Brand Classic that he too expected to start summer school in May.
Contributions from both McCullough and Joseph will be critical for Syracuse next season because the Orange lost a ton of talent from this past year's ACC runner-up squad. Starting point guard Tyler Ennis and standout forwards C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant each will play professionally next season, leaving the Orange without their three top scorers from a year ago.
Joseph is likely the heir apparent to Ennis at point guard, though returner Michael Gbinije could also see playing time at the position. Sharpshooter Trevor Cooney and returning reserve Tyler Roberson are the most likely starters at wing, with Gbinije also seeing minutes off the bench behind them as well.
The surefire frontcourt starter is defensive specialist Rakeem Christmas, but Grant's departure leaves the power forward spot up for grabs. McCullough appears capable of seizing that job right away, especially given that DaJuan Coleman's health remains a question mark and that Jim Boeheim was effusive in his praise of McCullough recently.
McCullough, a Bronx native, averaged 22 points and nine rebounds for IMG Academy this past season and has worked to improve his post moves, perimeter shooting and ball-handling in preparation for his Syracuse debut.
Thanks to his qualifying test score, that debut will come sooner than later.
For more Syracuse news, visit CuseConfidential.com
- - - - - - -