Syracuse basketball watching 5-star Philly forward during AAU live period

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Five-star forward Justin Edwards from Philadelphia, one of the top high-school prospects in the junior cycle who holds a Syracuse basketball offer, is reportedly going to trim down his list of contenders in the near future.

Based on media reports, interviews given by the 6-foot-7 Edwards, and comments from recruiting analysts of late, I hadn’t been getting the sense that the Orange would end up as a finalist for this consensus top-20 player in the 2023 class.

And while that’s still going to likely end up being the case, a national analyst did note via social media on Saturday that the ‘Cuse was among those college squads sitting courtside to watch Edwards and his AAU teammates during an NCAA live period being held this weekend.

Edwards competes for the Philadelphia-based Team Final, which is an excellent squad on Nike’s EYBL circuit. Per Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports, among those checking out Edwards and Team Final in Indianapolis were “Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Providence, Syracuse, and Tennessee.”

Syracuse basketball offered five-star Justin Edwards last summer.

I’m the first to acknowledge that the ‘Cuse being attendance for a game where Edwards and Team Final are playing could mean absolutely nothing as it pertains to Edwards’ recruitment.

The Orange might have been watching other players on Team Final or this squad’s opponent. Perhaps Syracuse basketball just wanted to be in attendance to keep up relationships with the Team Final coaching staff, as the ‘Cuse does certainly recruit high-school prospects from the Philadelphia market.

But maybe the Orange is trying to hang around in Edwards’ recruitment. We’ll have to wait and see on that.

What I can say is that the buzz surrounding Edwards in recent months, from recruiting analysts anyway, hasn’t seemed to involve the ‘Cuse.

There has been a prediction logged in the direction of Kentucky for Edwards on for a while now. More recently, projections were made in favor of Auburn and Tennessee on the On3 Web site.

A recent tweet from high-school hoops analyst and scout Alex Karamanos said that Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn, Kansas and Oregon were the five schools in the most consistent communication with Edwards of late. By the way, he has amassed around 20 offers throughout his recruiting process, with Connecticut and Penn State getting buzz for him at one time or another.

Not too long ago, during the 2021-22 high-school season, Edwards helped guide the Imhotep Institute Charter High School in Philadelphia to a Class 5A state title in Pennsylvania.

For the Imhotep Institute, Edwards in 2021-22 averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game and was recently named a second-team junior All-American by Jordan Divens, the national basketball editor for MaxPreps.

All of the primary recruiting services rank Edwards in the top-20 overall of the 2023 class, with presently being the most bullish, placing him at No. 8 nationally in his cycle.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: What sold 4-star Judah Mintz on choosing the ‘Cuse. dark