October 11, 2012

Galasso Doesn't Have 'Top Pick' But Syracuse on List

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Syracuse has confirmed it is talking with Nicky Galasso about a possible transfer there, but the sought-after attackman says he's still looking at options. "I have no top pick," he said Wednesday.
© Peyton Williams

Now the attention turns to what's next? Where does Nicky Galasso transfer?

"I have no top pick," Galasso told LaxMagazine.com on Wednesday in response to a report that Syracuse was talking with him. "I'm still just exploring my options and looking for the best fit."

Galasso initially said on Tuesday he wanted to make visits to a few schools and go through the recruiting process again, like he did six-plus years ago as a high school sophomore and junior as the nation's top recruit at West Islip (N.Y.). This is going to take at least some time. An announcement is not likely imminent, and official enrollment won't happen until the spring, but there are certainly some educated guesses that can be made.

Here's my take on likely transfer locations, based on Galasso stated intentions of 1) being closer to his Long Island-based family, 2) being at a place where he can make an immediate impact in a starting role and, 3) play at a new school this spring.

Per the terms of his release from North Carolina, Galasso would have to sit out a year if he joined current ACC schools Duke, Maryland or Virginia, so those are not possibilities. But that penalty does not apply to future ACC schools Syracuse and Notre Dame, Galasso told LaxMagazine.com, so the Orange and Irish remain.

Galasso is also able to transfer to but not play for a team that is on North Carolina's spring 2013 schedule. The Tar Heels have not officially announced their schedule yet, but of the below, only two were on UNC's slate last year.

Keep in mind that teams, whose lineups and makeups are already largely set by this point of the fall, would have to make space for Galasso for the spring and potentially free up at least some scholarship money, which could be a touchy subject for players who are already at these schools.

Note: This list is mine and not necessarily Galasso's.

A team spokesman confirmed to LaxMagazine.com that the Orange are talking with Galasso about a possible transfer there. When I spoke with Galasso, I mentioned the possibility of Syracuse, and his response was to say he didn't want to get into talking specifics and he wanted to keep his options open. But Galasso would seem a natural fit with the Orange, who are looking to add juice to its offense. Galasso still wants to compete for national championships and, of the schools on the rest of the list, the Orange provide the best opportunity to do that. It's also in New York, although it's quite a trek to get upstate from Galasso's hometown of West Islip on Long Island.

Galasso said he thinks Hofstra is "too close to home" – it's roughly 20 minutes from his hometown of West Islip – and he wants the "college experience," but it's not wild to think minds can change. I'll concede it's a long shot, however. Although he wants to be closer to home, he doesn't want to be so close to home where he would be hanging around his four brothers in all his free time, which could happen on Long Island. But I have to think suiting up in the blue and gold is still a possibility. The Pride were in consideration when Galasso verbally committed to North Carolina before his junior season, but again, he wanted to have the away-from-home college experience. Hofstra was also on North Carolina's schedule last season.

Penn State
It's a five-hour drive without traffic from West Islip to State College, Pa., and more importantly, Penn State coach Jeff Tambroni is considered by some the best coach in the country, and he's an offensive mind. The Nittany Lions are trending up and Galasso may speed the national contender process along. Penn State played North Carolina last season, but neither school has released its 2013 schedule.

St. John's
After upsetting Notre Dame in the Big East tournament, people started taking notice of the Red Storm. An attack unit that includes standout Kieran McArdle, another Long Island native, and Galasso could put up some big numbers. The campus is located in Queens, which is a borough of New York City but technically on the land-mass of Long Island, about 30 minutes west of West Islip.

Hofstra would not be happy to see Galasso land with its traditional rival in Massachusetts, but Long Island-native Greg Cannella, the UMass coach, certainly would. It's a four-hour drive, or less, depending on if you take the ferry across the Long Island Sound.

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* 'Want to See Where I Can Make Impact'
* Galasso Granted Release from North Carolina

A year ago, it wouldn't have been thought of but who wouldn't want to join the defending national champions? Baltimore is a 4 hour and 30 minute drive away, and a cheap, quick plane flight (Thank you, Southwest). Galasso would be a nice replacement for Eric Lusby. 

Another Baltimore school, the Tigers would love to have a player of Galasso's caliber. Why Towson? Galasso's close friend and former West Islip teammate Andrew Hodgson is on the roster. Galasso and Hodgson led West Islip's run of four state titles in five seasons that ended in 2010. People may forget, but for how amazing Galasso was on attack at West Islip, Hodgson was an equal playmaker out of the midfield. To be re-united would be something special.

It's in Pennsylvania, but Lehigh is closer to Long Island than you think, only a 2 hour and 30 minute drive to the west. There's no shortage of Long Islanders on the roster and coach Kevin Cassese has designs on keeping the Mountain Hawks a national contender after last year's breakout campaign. Lehigh played North Carolina last season but the Tar Heels are not on the schedule in 2013.

A long-shot but worth considering. The New Jersey state school is the closest Division I contender to Long Island that's not on Long Island. Galasso could be an offensive centerpiece.

Known to be creative with their offensive schemes, the Wildcats offer a Philadelphia-based option and Big East competition.

The Stags were on the doorstep of the NCAA tournament last year and in July Fairfield extended coach Andy Copelan's contact through 2019. It's a short drive to Connecticut from Long Island.

A pairing with Peter Baum would be scary for the rest of the Patriot League, and nation. If Galasso is considering Syracuse, Colgate is relatively close in upstate, Hamilton, N.Y.

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