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Syracuse Basketball: Is North Carolina still the favorite for a 5-star target?

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /
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A few weeks back, we noted in a column that fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad North Carolina was receiving a lot of analyst buzz regarding 2023 five-star power forward G.G. Jackson, whose first scholarship offer from a college team arrived from Syracuse basketball in August of 2020.

While I don’t pretend to be in the inner circle of the 6-foot-8 Jackson, I had read a fair amount of media reports and comments from recruiting insiders over the last two months that suggested Jackson could have been on the verge of possibly committing to the Tar Heels.

Now, it seems, that may not be occurring, at least not for the time being. Jackson, a junior at Ridge View High School in Columbia, S.C., has taken official and unofficial visits to UNC, but he’s also making trips to other schools, according to a national recruiting analyst.

According to one tweet that I came across, Jackson visited South Carolina for its recent game against Georgetown. Jamie Shaw, a national analyst for Rivals.com, wrote in an article that the top-10 Jackson has taken trips to other teams such as Duke, Virginia and Georgetown.

Some big-time groups are vying for Syracuse basketball five-star target G.G. Jackson.

Jackson is a consensus five-star player in the 2023 cycle, and most recruiting services rate him as a top-10 player across the country in this class. Some analysts view him as a serious contender for the top overall spot in 2023.

While the ‘Cuse coaching staff was the first to offer Jackson, his recruitment has exploded due to his stellar play at Ridge View High School and on the AAU circuit.

Case in point, his offers include from recruiting heavyweights like Kansas, Virginia, Florida State, Duke, North Carolina and Alabama, along with Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, N.C. State, Maryland, Georgetown, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh and Boston College.

I don’t get the sense that the Orange is a major player in his recruitment these days, but again, I’m not in his inner circle, nor am I a recruiting analyst.

What I will say is that I had hoped Syracuse basketball being the first to offer Jackson would prove an advantage for the ‘Cuse in his recruitment.

He is an elite talent. Jackson is praised by analysts and scouts for being a high-energy player who boasts strong athleticism, scoring versatility, rebounding prowess and defensive instincts.

Analyst and scout Samad Hines noted in a tweet that Jackson tallied 36 points and eight rebounds in the recent 2021-22 season opener for Ridge View High School.

To be fair, multiple predictions in the direction of North Carolina as it pertains to Jackson still exist on the 247Sports Web site and Rivals.com. We’ll continue to monitor that.

Shaw, however, did say that Jackson “is looking to set upcoming visits with Virginia and Duke with no commitment timetable set.”

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 4-star point guard target totally brilliant in big wins. dark