March 9, 2009

Riley talks SU

Birmingham (MI) Country Day center DaShonte Riley has been a member of the Big East since his commitment to Georgetown back in May. Even though he did not end up with the Hoyas it was two other Big East schools looking for his commitment. Syracuse and Marquette were those two schools and in the end the Orange won out.

Riley, 6-foot-11, 220 pounds talked about his commitment to Syracuse.

"I am done with recruiting. I am committed to Syracuse," Riley said. "I am just looking for the full experience. Getting better on the court and the class room. It is all about development and having fun while developing. I felt that Syracuse was the place that I could have the best of both worlds in terms of academics and athletics."

The Orange have had one of the more stable programs in the country and it was that stability that really caught the eye of the three star prospect.

"It was a lot of things that attracted me to the school. I felt that the stability they had with their coaching staff with Coach Boeheim being there for 30 plus years and they have assistants that have been there for awhile. They even have the coach who will be the next head coach and I thought that was real important. I felt that it fit my personality in terms of the types of people they have that can help me bring the best out of my game as well as a better man."

What exactly was it that put the Orange over the top?

"I guess it was just the coaches that I had a connection with. I thought it was a good place in terms of what it can offer an individual. I felt that it was a place where I could have an impact and help a team win a National Championship."

Syracuse played a huge game against Georgetown when Riley took his visit to Syracuse. A couple weeks later Riley went on a trip to Marquette where he saw another great game as the Golden Eagles took on the Connecticut Huskies. Even though he took the trip to Marquette Riley already knew where he was going to college.

"I honestly new after my visit to Syracuse, but my mom wanted me to stay open minded and not to put all of my eggs in one basket. I guess after I visited Marquette, that is not to say the they are not a good program I just felt that Syracuse could offer me the best. I felt Syracuse was a place where I could help them and they could help me."

Rob Murphy recruited Riley for Syracuse. Murphy wanted to recruit Riley early in the process, but was unable to. When Riley hit the market late in the recruiting process Murphy took advantage of the second chance.

"The relationship is pretty good," Riley said of his relationship with Murphy. "He wanted to recruit me earlier in my high school career, but we reconnected after I de-committed from Georgetown and it has been on ever since then. He is from Michigan so we can relate on some of the same things. And he is just a good guy to talk with."

When Riley finally committed to Syracuse late last week the Orange coaches were so excited that they had to make more calls to just double check on the commitment of Riley.

"They were really excited when I committed. I think Coach Murphy called my mom to make sure that I was serious abut committing there. They were real excited about it."

In high school basketball Riley is one of the bigger players in his league, so the college game will be different for him. Not only will college be a big change for him, but heading into the Big East will mean Riley will have to make some adjustments. Riley knows that when it comes to next year he will have to make some changes to his game.

"I think that the biggest adjustment is just going to be my strength. The Big East is a very aggressive type league and I think I will have to prepare a lot in the offseason for that so I am ready for that day in and day out competition."

The center prospects know what he is going to have to do next year, but what should the Syracuse fans expect to see from him?

"I just want to do whatever I can do to make the team as successful as possible. If that means backing up Arinze or starting I just want to be there to help my team and develop," Riley stated. "The Syracuse fans are getting a player who wants to win night in and night out regardless of the statistical game. I am not really big on points and all that I am just somebody that will contribute as much as possible."

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