Syracuse Basketball: 5-star recruit backs up top-10 ranking, analyst says

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Five-star big man Derik Queen, who hails from Baltimore, likely has a way to go with his recruiting process, although I’m hopeful that Syracuse basketball will emerge as a serious contender for the 6-foot-9 power forward/center.

Queen is a consensus top-10 national player in the 2024 cycle, but since he’s just a sophomore, it may be a while before we get a sense of which schools are prioritizing him, and also which teams he’s honing in on during his recruitment.

In the 2021-22 campaign, as a sophomore for the powerhouse Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., Queen didn’t log a ton of minutes, because he was an underclassman and the Eagles featured an absolutely loaded line-up.

In fact, the Montverde Academy captured the 2022 GEICO Nationals in early April at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Ft. Myers, Fla., as the Eagles won this prestigious event for the second year in a row.

Still, Queen earned honorable-mention All-America honors in the 2024 class for his play in the 2021-22 stanza, when he averaged 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per encounter, according to MaxPreps.

Syracuse basketball has shown interest in five-star Derik Queen for a while now.

Dating back to at least the fall of 2020, I started coming across some media reports suggesting that the ‘Cuse coaching staff was displaying interest in Queen, who starred as a freshman for the Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore before transferring to the Montverde Academy.

Last October, the Orange officially offered a scholarship to Queen. He has at least 10 offers at this juncture, from squads such as Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Auburn, DePaul, Maryland, Texas, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, LSU, Arizona State and Xavier, per recruiting services.

Most recruiting Web sites rate Queen as a five-star prospect. All of the main recruiting services presently have him in the top-10 overall in the 2024 cycle. Some analysts and scouts believe he is a contender for the No. 1 national ranking in his class.

Because he was an underclassman in 2021-22 for the Montverde Academy, other guys on that elite team received more run. So the AAU circuit, which is underway, is perhaps a greater opportunity at the moment for Queen to showcase his talented mid-range and paint skills.

The grassroots basketball leagues have held two rounds of contests in April during NCAA live periods where college coaches and others could watch high-school prospects in person.

Queen, playing for the Baltimore-based Team Thrill on the Under Armour Association (“UAA”) circuit, has performed at a high level, further reinforcing his top-10 status in the 2024 cycle, experts say.

This past weekend, at the UAA stop in Kansas City, Mo., during a live period, he put forth two excellent outputs. Per box scores on, in one game, Queen had 23 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two assists. In a second affair, he tallied 15 points, nine boards and two dimes.

Both 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi and 247Sports national analyst Dushawn London had a lot of positive things to say about Queen’s play last weekend.

"Bossi wrote in part about the Syracuse basketball recruiting target, “He was catching in the high post and blowing by other bigs off the dribble to convert at the rim, he was scoring in the post, he was rebounding and showing off great hands, footwork and touch along the way. Simply put, when he wanted to go and score, he was pretty much unguardable.”"

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