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Syracuse basketball still recruiting 5-star point guard, No. 1 junior, he says

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: CherryHill)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: CherryHill) /

Some national analysts are opining that the recruitment of 2023 five-star point guard D.J. Wagner is likely to come down to Kentucky versus in-state rival Louisville, but the 6-foot-3 Wagner continues to maintain that other schools are still recruiting him, including Syracuse basketball.

In all likelihood, the Orange probably doesn’t have all that much of a realistic shot to land Wagner, who is rated the No. 1 prospect in the 2023 cycle according to numerous recruiting services.

That being said, Wagner has said in several interviews that I’ve seen of late where he notes that his recruitment is not just the Wildcats against the Cardinals, even if those two programs currently have the most “buzz” for him, per multiple national analysts and recruiting insiders.

For me personally, even if the ‘Cuse doesn’t win out for Wagner, if it’s indeed the case that Syracuse basketball continues to pursue him, then I give a ton of credit to the Orange coaching staff for making a run at Wagner, no matter how big of an uphill climb the team faces to prevail in his recruitment.

Syracuse basketball offered five-star D.J. Wagner last August at the Orange’s annual Elite Camp.

As we wrote in a column late last week, for quite some time, Kentucky has proven the rumored “favorite” to pick up Wagner, who was an All-American as a junior during the 2021-22 season for Camden High School in Camden, N.J.

However, with ace recruiter and former Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne now the new head coach at Louisville, the Cardinals have received some predictions from analysts for Wagner of late.

According to recruiting services, besides Syracuse basketball, Wagner has obtained scholarship offers from teams such as Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Villanova and Temple. Auburn has reportedly shown interest in Wagner as well, per reports.

A few days ago, Wagner said in an interview that he doesn’t have any campus visits set up at this time, that he isn’t focused on one particular school, and that he’s “open to every college,” according to the story by Cardinal Authority publisher Jody Demling.

Now, clearly Kentucky and Louisville will be heavily in the mix for Wagner, I would imagine. But according to Demling’s story, other teams that are still recruiting him include “Villanova, Memphis, Arkansas, Michigan, and Syracuse.”

To reiterate, the Orange is almost certainly a huge long-shot to get Wagner, who has performed at an ultra-high level during two NCAA live periods in April for his AAU squad, the New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club, which runs on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

But until Wagner trims his list of contenders or announces a collegiate destination, I’ll remain hopeful – albeit ever so slightly – that maybe the ‘Cuse can emerge triumphant in Wagner’s recruitment.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Several priority targets seem to be emerging in 2023. dark