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Syracuse basketball recruiting 5-star PG, nation’s No. 1 junior, per report

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Courier-Post)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Courier-Post) /

When Syracuse basketball coaches offered a scholarship to 2023 five-star point guard D.J. Wagner last summer, a lot of my fellow Orange fans immediately chimed in that the ‘Cuse had no shot with the country’s top-ranked prospect in the junior class.

Of course, at that time, Wagner’s recruiting process still had a long way to go, and it perhaps still does. Furthermore, I imagine that none of these Orange fans have any inside information on Wagner’s recruitment.

That being said, I understand the sentiment. Many ‘Cuse fans, these days, don’t believe that Syracuse basketball can haul in five-star, top-10 players like the 6-foot-3 Wagner, given the Orange’s recruiting track record in recent years.

For me, whether the ‘Cuse has any chance at landing Wagner or not, I’ve always doled out much appreciation and credit to Orange coaches for giving it a shot with top-flight players such as Wagner. As I often opine, you can’t win out for a supremely talented prospect unless you offer him a scholarship first.

Syracuse basketball offered D.J. Wagner this past August at the team’s annual Elite Camp.

Wagner just wrapped up a stellar junior season for Camden High School in Camden, N.J. His spring AAU tour has gotten underway for the New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club, which is an excellent team on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

According to media reports, the Orange coaching staff was in attendance last month at a Camden High School contest, as well as this past weekend when the New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club suited up in an EYBL session during an NCAA live period.

I wouldn’t pretend to have any inside intel on whether there is a significant mutual interest among Syracuse basketball and Wagner, who is the consensus, but not the unanimous, No. 1 prospect in the 2023 cycle.

Since the Orange offered him and I started to track his recruitment more closely, there’s been a lot of buzz from national recruiting analysts in the direction of Kentucky as it pertains to Wagner’s recruiting process.

Besides the ‘Cuse and Kentucky, Wagner’s other offers include from Memphis, Villanova and Temple. According to an article from writers Bilal Benjamin and Zach Smart on zagsblog.com, Auburn is showing interest.

Reports also suggest that Louisville, with new head coach Kenny Payne and new assistant coach Nolan Smith, may make a run at Wagner.

The zagsblog.com story noted that Syracuse basketball is recruiting Wagner. A few months back, Wagner said in an interview, “I’m still open to all opportunities. I’m still open to everyone.”

Additionally, Wagner said in the zagsblog.com piece, “I don’t have a timeline or anything like that” as far as making a college decision. “I don’t have any main schools either.”

It’s probably realistic to think that the Orange isn’t going to win out for Wagner. But, hey, maybe the ‘Cuse does have a small sliver of hope after all.

Next. Former Syracuse basketball 5-star PF recruit to transfer from Tennessee. dark