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The first 2023 Syracuse Men's Basketball building block

Syracuse 2023 recruit William Patterson looms 7 feet 2 inches tall
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Syracuse 2023 recruit William Patterson looms 7 feet 2 inches tall

Syracuse Men’s Basketball’s 2023 recruiting class was like a new home yet to be furnished: empty. The Orange had zero commitments for the upcoming group before things changed February 20. Brooklyn native and 7’2” center William Patterson broke SU’s recruitment drought.

A member of the Patrick School in New Jersey, Patterson doesn’t have any stars on 247 Sports’ recruiting rankings page, but obtained other division 1 offers from Oklahoma State, TCU, Rutgers, and Cincinnati.

The Orange first offered Patterson back in October. The center made a strong impression in a camp presented by the SU coaching staff.

“I was really putting on a show for coach Boeheim,” Patterson said, in an extended interview with M&L Tonight. “After the camp was over, he [Boeheim] called me up and gave me the offer on the spot,” the New York product said.

“It felt like at that point, Syracuse was kind of in the driver seat,” Syracuse Sports Illustrated’s Mike McAllister said. “He’s a Brooklyn kid, thinks very highly of Syracuse, likes ACC basketball commitment.”

What helped Syracuse lock in the commitment was Patterson’s official visit, to watch Syracuse host Duke inside the JMA Dome on February 18.

“I was sitting in the family section [at the Dome before the game],” Patterson said. 30 minutes in, a whole bunch of students started pouring in. It was like ‘oh my goodness’. It was crazy. It felt like I was the one playing. The amount of attention that was poured on to me when I first walked in was amazing. Some of the students came up to me, shook my hand, took pictures. Some other people were cheering my name during the game. It was amazing. When you first walk into the Dome, and see all those people surrounding you, it’s a shocking feeling.

Then, Assistant Coach Allen Griffin helped finalize Patterson’s decision.

“He showed me some of my highlights compared to Jesse Edwards, which was really cool,” Patterson said. “Before I walked out of Coach Griff’s office, I told him I made my decision..Coach Griff and everybody else was super happy. I made a lot of days.”