Syracuse Basketball: For skilled big-man target, ‘ascension just beginning’

Syracuse basketball recruiting target Joseph Estrella, a talented and under-rated big man, may have been flying under the radar on a national scale in the 2023 cycle for a period of time, but it seems as if that is going to change. And fast.

The 6-foot-10 power forward, who received a scholarship offer from Orange coaches over the summer, recently participated in an event where he and other top prospects from the state of Maine were evaluated by the New England Recruiting Report and local college coaches.

According to a write-up by the New England Recruiting Report, Estrella performed at a stellar level. Estrella, by the way, is a junior at South Portland High School in South Portland, Maine, and he competes on the grassroots basketball circuit with the Middlesex Magic, which is one of the best AAU teams in the New England region.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered Estrella at the Orange’s annual Elite Camp this past August. He was one of several 2023 and 2024 players to land an offer at the camp.

Syracuse basketball is in the mix for big man Joseph Estrella, whose stock is soaring.

The New England Recruiting Report had a lot of positive things to say about Estrella’s performance at a recent evaluation showcase put on by Ben Teer Recruiting.

After watching Estrella play at this event, the New England Recruiting Report wrote in part, “it is now apparent that Estrella’s ascension is just beginning. The junior big man has made massive gains in the last six months, not only growing a couple more inches but getting more athletic, extending his shooting range, and becoming more assertive. Just as importantly, he has maintained a level of humility that will allow him to continue improving. In short, he’s on his way to becoming one of the biggest names in New England.”

To that end, as we noted in a recent column, the New England Recruiting Report ranks Estrella as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Maine and No. 10 in New England within the 2023 class.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Estrella is going to end up as a four-star, top-100 prospect nationally in 2023 when all is said and done.

Syracuse basketball coaches recognize his skill-set and potential at the collegiate level. But they’re not alone. According to Estrella’s Twitter page, he recently picked up offers from Harvard out of the Ivy League, as well as Southeastern Conference member Tennessee and former Big East Conference rival Providence.

The Volunteers have done quite well on the recruiting trail of late. Two former Orange targets, five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler and five-star power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, are a part of Tennessee’s 2021 cycle.

Harvard has a wonderful head coach in Tommy Amaker, and the Volunteers are a major player in collegiate hoops. It’s great that Syracuse basketball got into the mix for Estrella early on, however, his recruitment is about to blow up.