Syracuse basketball offers top-ranked player; can anyone catch Kentucky?

Syracuse basketball held its annual Elite Camp on Saturday, with a bevy of Orange targets across a variety of cycles in attendance.

Multiple media reports, along with players’ own tweets, speak to a handful of scholarship offers getting doled out by the ‘Cuse coaching staff either during the camp or after it had ended.

One of those offers went to the No. 1 rising junior across the country, 2023 five-star point guard D.J. Wagner, per several reports, including one from Mike McAllister, the publisher of SyracuseOnSI.

Now, does the Orange have a realistic shot at picking up this elite high-school prospect? Who knows at this juncture, although a slew of national analysts and recruiting insiders are already projecting the 6-foot-3 Wagner to a blue-blood team.

Regardless, it’s always exciting when Syracuse basketball gets into the mix for such a highly ranked player. Speaking of that, Wagner is the consensus No. 1 prospect across the country in the 2023 class, according to the primary recruiting services.

By extension, Wagner is also naturally the No. 1 point guard in his cycle, as well as the No. 1 player in New Jersey.

Last year, Wagner played exceptionally well as a sophomore for Camden High School in Camden, N.J. On the AAU circuit, he runs with the Millburn, N.J.-based New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club.

Syracuse basketball will face an uphill climb to land five-star D.J. Wagner.

In mid-June, after college coaches could begin communicating directly with 2023 prospects, we penned a column noting that the ‘Cuse had reached out to Wagner, whose father, Dajuan Wagner, suited up for Kentucky head coach John Calipari at Memphis for one season prior to getting selected at No.  6 overall in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft.

D.J. Wagner said at the time that squads he had heard from included Syracuse basketball, Kentucky, Villanova, Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan, Arkansas and Temple.

According to recruiting services, Wagner has offers from Villanova and Temple, and now the Orange. His bio on several recruiting Web sites says that Wagner has interest from Kentucky, although I haven’t seen anything elsewhere that describes a formal offer.

Regardless, considering how highly rated he is, that his dad played for Calipari, and that Kentucky is tremendous on the recruiting trail, if an offer by the Wildcats to Wagner hasn’t already been made, I’m sure it will be at some point in the near future.

Numerous national analysts on the 247Sports Web site and are predicting that Wagner will ultimately head to Kentucky. And I could envision Memphis and its exquisite recruiter, head coach Penny Hardaway, becoming a huge threat here.

Let’s see if Syracuse basketball can evolve into a significant contender for the top-ranked 2023 player.