four-star recruiting target Ugonna Kingsley, who is one of the hottest prospects..."/> four-star recruiting target Ugonna Kingsley, who is one of the hottest prospects..."/>

Syracuse basketball 4-star recruit may be best rim protector in entire class

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball four-star recruiting target Ugonna Kingsley, who is one of the hottest prospects in the 2023 class, caught the attention of a top national analyst this past weekend for his play at an AAU event in Maryland.

The 7-foot center, as a member of the NY Jayhawks, suited up at the inaugural Mayhem in Maryland, which was held at The Park School of Baltimore.

Hosted by the Baltimore-based Team Thrill, this event featured premier AAU squads on various shoe-sponsored circuits in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and greater mid-Atlantic regions.

Numerous recruiting analysts and scouts were in attendance at the Mayhem in Maryland event, including 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein, who had some wonderfully encouraging things to say about Kingsley, who is a junior at the Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn.

Syracuse basketball offered four-star big man Ugonna Kingsley last February.

According to Finkelstein, Kingsley arrived at the Putnam Science Academy in January and played well for this prep school that went 38-0 during the 2021-22 term and won the 2022 National Prep Championship in West Hartford, Conn.

But Kingsley didn’t get a chance to compete during the live periods held last month, “because of the NCAA’s rules specific to players who recently arrived in the country,” per Finkelstein’s story.

So while the Orange and numerous other high-majors have already offered Kingsley, his skill-set likely isn’t known throughout the entire grassroots basketball circuit just yet.

"Finkelstein writes that this Syracuse basketball recruit “has a chance to be the best rim protector in the national class. … He not only has good feet for his size and the length to match, but also the instinctive timing to be an elite shot-blocker. While his defense is currently ahead of his (offense), he showed encouraging flashes with emphatic dunks, solid post moves when able to get deep catches, and a soft touch to develop.”"

As we recently detailed, some of Kingsley’s more recent offers include from UConn, Kansas and Maryland, according to media reports and recruiting services.

Other college squads that have offered him are Mike Hopkins-led Washington, LSU, Ohio State, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Providence, Georgetown, Texas Tech, Washington State, Clemson, Seton Hall, California and Iowa.

Collegiate heavyweights like Kentucky, Oregon, Baylor and Duke, among others, are also showing interest in Kingsley.

As the primary recruiting services continue to update and expand their national rankings for the 2023 cycle, I imagine that Kingsley will emerge as a consensus four-star, top-100 player in this class, if not higher than that.

Some recruiting Web sites, I should add, recently refreshed their 2023 national ratings, and Kingsley made huge leaps.

ESPN, On3 and the On3 Consensus all have him as a top-40 overall prospect as well as a top-three center in his recruiting cycle.

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