Syracuse Basketball: Big-man recruit skyrockets into the national rankings

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) /

A couple of weeks ago, Syracuse basketball 2023 four-star recruiting target Ugonna Kingsley and his teammates captured a national prep title for the 2021-22 campaign, with analysts and scouts raving about the defensive prowess and offensive potential of the 7-foot center.

Kingsley, a native of Nigeria, only arrived in the United States not too long ago to suit up for the powerhouse Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn., and he’s already beginning to command recruiting attention on a national scale.

Earlier this month, the Putnam Science Academy wrapped up a stellar 38-0 record during the 2021-22 stanza by claiming the 2022 National Prep Championship, which was held at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn.

I read a ton of observations about Kingsley’s performance at this prestigious event, and I’ll say this. He is one of the best rim protectors in the entire 2023 cycle, if not the best one.

My fellow ‘Cuse hoops fanatics and I can only dream about Kingsley, a junior at the Putnam Science Academy, potentially anchoring the Orange 2-3 zone defense down the line. Hopefully, the ‘Cuse will emerge as a viable contender for this ultra-talented big man.

Syracuse basketball recently entered the recruiting fray for four-star center Ugonna Kingsley.

I think it’s important to provide some context here as to just how fast of a riser Kingsley is within the 2023 class. To my knowledge, all of the primary recruiting services have updated their national ratings for this cycle of late.

While ESPN and 247Sports don’t currently have Kingsley within their 2023 national rankings, he is four stars and No. 87 overall according to

What’s more, On3 recently updated and expanded its 2023 national ratings, going from 50 to 100 high-school prospects. In these rankings from On3, Kingsley went from unrated to four stars, No. 25 across the country, and No. 3 at center in the 2023 class.

That’s simply a tremendous, tremendous leap for the Orange recruit. Assuming he shines at upcoming AAU events in the spring and over the summer, I could envision Kingsley making a run at five-star status in the 2023 cycle.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to him in February. According to recruiting services and media reports, besides Syracuse basketball, Kingsley holds offers from high-major teams such as Ohio State, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Providence, Georgetown, Texas Tech, Washington State, Clemson, Seton Hall, California and Iowa.

Per a recent tweet from Pro Insight director of scouting Andrew Slater, Kingsley would like to hear from college recruiting heavyweights including Duke, Kentucky and Arizona.

Based on how his stock is trending in the 2023 class, I have no doubt that Kingsley will likely hear from these aforementioned programs, along with many other big-time teams in the sport of collegiate hoops.

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