The grassroots basketball circuit for the spring months is getting underway in earnest as college coaches this weekend are able to watch high-school prospects during an NCAA live period, with several Syracuse basketball recruiting targets performing quite well at various events over the last few days.
Catching the eye of multiple national analysts is Orange 2023 recruit Joseph Estrella, a 6-foot-10 power forward/center who has flown under the radar on a national scale for a while now, but that is absolutely changing.
Estrella and his AAU squad, the New England-based Middlesex Magic, have been suiting up on the Under Armour Association (“UAA”) circuit. According to On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw, Estrella has proven a stand-out at a UAA event in Westfield, Ind.
While recruiting services to date haven’t included Estrella in their 2023 national ratings, Shaw said he should be in the conversation for inclusion when On3 makes an update in the future.
Syracuse basketball recruits are performing at a high level in AAU events.
Brandon Jenkins, a 247Sports national analyst, wrote in part about Estrella, “A 6-foot-10 big with soft hands, long arms, and a great understanding of how to play, Estrella was fundamentally sound in his approach and played with a chip on his shoulder. He caught passes in tight spaces, was efficient in setting screens, and finished all plays he needed to inside. … His upside is very attainable because of his mindset and his production level will increase by the day as he adds weight.”
Offered a scholarship by the Orange coaching staff at the team’s annual Elite Camp last August, Estrella had a wonderful junior season for South Portland High School in South Portland, Maine, and will suit up for the powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., for the 2022-23 campaign.
His other scholarship offers include from Xavier, Boston College, Iowa, Providence, Tennessee, Harvard, Maine, Penn State and Marquette, according to media reports and recruiting services.
Besides Estrella, other high-school players who own Syracuse basketball offers and have fared well at recent AAU events during this live period include 2023 five-star point guard D.J. Wagner, 2023 four-star point guard Aden Holloway, and 2023 five-star wing Elijah Fisher.
Wagner, who was also offered by the ‘Cuse this past August, tallied 27 points and seven rebounds in a win for his Nike EYBL squad, the New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club.
Aden Holloway, a 2023 four-star point guard, picked up 16 points, five rebounds and four assists as his AAU group, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Team Cp3, notched a triumph. According to recruiting services, the Orange offered Holloway back in the summer of 2019.
Fisher, one of the top high-school players coming out of Canada, put together a strong performance for his AAU team on the Adidas circuit, according to an article from 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi.
The ‘Cuse coaching staff got involved with Fisher early on in his recruitment, offering him a scholarship in the summer of 2020. Lately, though, I get the sense that the Orange isn’t a significant contender for this top-25 prospect.