Syracuse standing out to Whitehead

April, 1, 2012
4/01/12
1:33
AM ET
Lincoln sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead is fond of orange.

One of the top sophomore prospects in the country and arguably the best underclassmen boys basketball player in New York City, Whitehead said on Saturday that Syracuse is the school he likes the most in this very early part of his recruitment.

"It's a very good school, both academically and for basketball," Whitehead said.

The guard is also being recruited by programs like Kentucky, Arizona, St. John's and Rutgers, adding that the local Scarlet Knights have him been after him the hardest. Rutgers was actually the first school Whitehead visited.

Whitehead called Syracuse a great team, mentioning how sophomore Dion Waiters came off the bench for the Orange this season as the team advanced to the Elite 8. The Carrier Dome has also left an impression on him.

"(I like) the arena and they have great fan support," Whitehead said.

The sophomore, who had a badly sprained left ankle at the end of the season, played in the Battle for the City Saturday at Baruch College and scored 13 points. He said his ankle is about 90 percent healed, adding that it affected him down the stretch of Lincoln's season as he struggled to make sharp movements.

He said that Lincoln is going to have motivation heading into next season coming off what most would consider a disappointing year for the Coney Island school. The Railsplitters lost in the borough and city semifinals despite having tremendous talent on the roster.

"We didn't understand who were the scorers were and who the passers were," Whitehead said. "Everybody looked to score too much. I think we played selfish at the end of the year, I think at the beginning of the year we played great together."

After not being able to play travel AAU ball since he was taking summer classes last year, Whitehead is going to play with the Juice All-Stars and Long Island Lightning on the AAU circuit this summer.

"It will bring more exposure but it will make me better for next year," Whitehead said. "All these players usually don't get to play against the great players I'm going to play against."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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