Syracuse Basketball: 5-star target hears the most from this Big East rival

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite residing in different conferences, Syracuse basketball and long-time Big East Conference nemesis Connecticut have gone toe to toe in numerous recruiting battles over the past couple of seasons, as we detailed in a column not too long ago.

More recently, over the summer Orange 2022 high-priority target Donovan Clingan selected UConn after the four-star center had the ‘Cuse among his eight finalists.

Now it seems possible that Syracuse basketball, the Huskies and many other big-time programs could engage in a fierce recruiting bout over an elite 2023 wing from Philadelphia.

That player, five-star small forward Justin Edwards, landed an offer from the Orange in mid-July. He has tons of offers and interest from a range of high-major squads, although at this stage in his recruiting process, UConn appears in strong shape with the 6-foot-7 Edwards, per a recent media report.

Syracuse basketball faces intense competition from UConn, others for five-star Justin Edwards.

In a recent interview with basketball recruiting director Rob Cassidy, Edwards didn’t provide a favorite in his recruitment, but he did say that he’s currently talking to the Huskies coaching staff more than any other contender.

Of course, with these recruitments of top-flight prospects, things can change, and change rapidly, so we’ll continue to monitor how involved ‘Cuse coaches will be with Edwards moving forward.

Edwards told Cassidy that other teams he’s “also in relatively close contact with” include Penn State and Maryland.

As we noted in a column on Edwards last weekend, blue-blood team and recruiting heavyweight Kentucky is showing interest in him, and he said in the article that an offer from the Wildcats is likely to arrive in the near future.

A junior at the Imhotep Institute Charter High School in Philadelphia, Edwards said via Twitter that two of his latest offers to come in are from LSU and Ohio State.

Among those who previously offered him are Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Temple, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Marquette, St. John’s, VCU, South Carolina and Tennessee.

It’s no surprise that Edwards has seen his list of offers expand, and expand in a big-time way. Multiple recruiting services deem him a five-star prospect and a top-20 overall player within the 2023 cycle.

When recently refreshed its national rankings for this class, Edwards made a significant gain, to No. 8 across the country. Syracuse basketball has a huge challenge on its hands to pick up a commitment from Edwards, with suitors such as UConn, Kentucky and others also in the mix.

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