Syracuse, N.Y. – Woody Newton planned for two years to announce his college decision on his mothers birthday.
Thats been my plan since I became a D-I recruit, Newton said Wednesday. I got my first scholarship offer in the 9th grade and ever since then I wanted to commit on my moms birthday.
Syracuse entered the cycle with theoretically zero scholarships available as they did not have a single senior on the roster for the 2019-20 season. That has not stopped Syracuse from recruiting talented players in the 2020 cycle, including Newton. Then Oshae Brissett decided to remain in the NBA Draft, opening up one slot. Syracuse has also prioritized four star wing Andre Jackson, who recently took an official visit. Scholarship slops open up every offseason with departures whether is via turning pro or transferring.
4-star forward Newton commits to Syracuse
Linda Newtons birthday was Tuesday. Thats when Newton, now a 6-foot-8 junior at Mt. Zion Prep in Lanham, Md., announced on Twitter that he would attend Syracuse University.
When Newton decided two years ago to make his college commitment on his mothers birthday, he had yet to even hear from Syracuse. His first scholarship offer had been from Kansas State.
Adrian Autry, Syracuses associate head coach, made contact after seeing Newton play in a summer AAU event. Then the recruiting kinda died down because I was so young.
Newton told Mt. Zion associate head coach Brian Scott of his plan to commit on his mothers birthday a year ago.
I said Arent we putting the cart before the horse, Scott said. We dont even know what schools are going to be there.
Newtons primary recruiter at Syracuse is assistant Allen Griffin. The two communicated regularly throughout the cycle, and Newton felt like a priority for Syracuse. That aided the Oranges efforts during his recruitment.
Syracuse got more involved this past year after Mt. Zion coach Rodrick Harrison called SU assistant Allen Griffin to talk about Newton.
Syracuse signed five players in the 2019 class and now have one in 2020. They are looking for at least one more to continue to add talent to the roster.
None of the schools recruiting Newton had made in-roads with the lanky young forward, but, Harrison told Griffin, Syracuse is his dream school.
Newton estimated that Griffin attended about six or seven of his games this past season. After seeing Newton play in a tournament at St. Andrews, the prep school in Rhode Island where 2019 Syracuse commit Brycen Goodine was a senior, Griffin went back to SU coach Jim Boeheim with a glowing report.
Syracuse offered Newton, who is ranked No. 79 in the 2020 class by 247Sports.com, a scholarship in February.
Even before Syracuse offered, my mom and I would talk and shed ask If you had your choice of any school, even if they havent offered you, which school would you pick? Newton said. And Id always pick Syracuse.
“I see a lot of Woody in those guys, Scott said Tuesday night following Newtons announcement on Twitter that he would attend Syracuse. “He fits their system up there the same way those guys did. Hes long, agile and athletic. Everybody thinks its the perfect choice for him.
Newton said similarities between his game and frame and those of Syracuse forwards like Oshae Brissett, Malachi Richardson and Jerami Grant.
Newton visited very few schools, taking an unofficial visit to Syracuse in February to see the Orange host Duke at the Carrier Dome. He is ranked No. 79 in the 20 class by 247Sports, but is not currently in ESPN.coms Top 100 for the class.
When Newton and his parents came to Syracuse to visit the SU campus and take in the Oranges game against Duke on Feb. 23. During a walk through the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Centers Hall of Fame, Newtons father, Atwood, told him stories about another former Syracuse player.
Dave Bing, Newton said. Hes all my father was talking about. Him and my father grew up in the same neighborhood in D.C.
Newton kept accumulating scholarship offers. He took unofficial visits to Georgetown, West Virginia, Penn State, Xavier and Virginia Tech.
On May 2, he called Griffin. He would commit to Syracuse, but he wouldnt announce it until May 28. His mothers birthday.
Syracuse, N.Y. — Brian Scott thinks Woody Newton can be the next in a long line of forwards to come out of the Baltimore-DC area and star in a Syracuse uniform.
Newton said he picked Syracuse because of the relationships he had forged with Boeheim, Griffin and Autry. He also liked the way he saw himself fitting the profile of a Syracuse forward.
Hes also interested in a career in sports broadcasting and hopes to enroll in Syracuses Newhouse School of Communications. Its the best communications program in the country, he said.
In one sense, Newton had been waiting a long time before making his college decision. Conversely, he is also ending his recruitment relatively early.
A lot of people told me to hold out, he said. They thought I could get offers from some of the blue-bloods, but I felt like Syracuse was the right fit.
Share Share Latest Syracuse mens basketball scholarship breakdown tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports Allen Griffin and Adrian Autry landed the Syracuse Oranges first class of 2020 recruit on Tuesday with Woody Newton — a four-star forward from Maryland. While it wont replace Oshae Brissett — who announced last week he is moving on to the NBA — Newtons arrival next year will at least strengthen a potential position of need.
Syracuse, without a senior on its youngest roster in recent memory, now has 13 scholarships for the 2020-21 season if nobody leaves the program. Brissetts departure left the team with 12 players for the upcoming 2019-20 slate.
The Orange have offers out to 12 other prospects for 2020 according to 247 Sports, including Andre Jackson — who told TNIAAM that SU was one of his top schools. Theres also plenty of potential for turnover in the next 365 days on the roster. Over the years, SU players have transferred, left mid-season and surprisingly played their way into the NBA Draft.
The latter option could happen for a player like guard Jalen Carey, who will likely be the teams starting point guard after limited minutes last season. Or Elijah Hughes, whose role will be critical for the upcoming campaign, and could shoot well enough to receive draft consideration.
For now, the Orange do not have space for another player in 20-21. Hughes, Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe currently figure to return for senior seasons, and Howard Washington should get a redshirt for last year. Buddy Boeheim is currently on scholarship, though people have spoken in the past about him possibly playing with walk-on status since his father is a SU employee (the highest paid on campus). He would have 90% of his tuition waived under Syracuse policy regardless.
Its unclear if SU could wriggle another scholarship spot by reclassifying Buddy. Syracuse can add to this years roster by picking up a graduate transfer. For reference, Andrew White III did not officially announce he joined SU until August before the 2016-17 season.