Syracuse basketball 5-star recruits eye top spot in AAU team power ratings

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

The second of two April live periods recently transpired in various locations around the country on the shoe-sponsored AAU circuits, and experts doled out a lot of praise to numerous Syracuse basketball recruiting targets for their performances in front of college coaches and others.

In a recent article by The Circuit staff on, these analysts and scouts published their national rankings of the top-25 AAU teams across the country as we look ahead to more events on the grassroots basketball circuit in the spring and summer months.

At least a half-dozen squads in these top-25 ratings feature players who hold scholarship offers from Syracuse basketball, including several high-school prospects who landed offers from the ‘Cuse only in the past few weeks.

Let’s take a look at where Syracuse basketball targets’ teams are ranked.

At No. 1 in The Circuit’s ratings is the New York City-based New Heights Lightning out of Nike’s EYBL league. Elliot Cadeau, a 2024 five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 1 point guard in his class according to several recruiting services, plays for the New Heights Lightning.

The 6-foot-1 Cadeau, a sophomore at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J., was offered by the Orange last November. He has said multiple times of late that Syracuse basketball is among the college squads recruiting him the hardest.

The New Jersey Scholars Elite Basketball Club, which runs on Nike’s EYBL circuit, is No. 5. One of the standouts for this group is 2023 five-star point guard D.J. Wagner, who is the No. 1 prospect in the junior cycle.

The 6-foot-3 Wagner, an All-American during the 2021-22 campaign for Camden High School in Camden, N.J., received a Syracuse basketball offer last August. He has said in recent weeks that the Orange continues to recruit him, despite some heavy analyst buzz in the direction of Kentucky and Louisville in Wagner’s recruitment.

The New England-based Middlesex Magic, out of the Under Armour Association league, is No. 8. Its star is Orange priority recruit Joseph Estrella, a fast-rising 2023 big man who was offered by the ‘Cuse this past August.

Syracuse basketball is among the teams presently recruiting the 6-foot-11 Estrella the hardest. He will play during his senior year for the Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.

The Baltimore-based Team Melo, which competes in Nike’s EYBL league, is No. 11. On this team’s roster is soaring 2023 wing/forward Tafara Gapare, who recently landed an offer from the Orange.

The 6-foot-10 Gapare, originally from Wellington, New Zealand, plays for the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn. He significantly boosted his stock during the recent NCAA live periods, analysts and scouts say.

Another one of the hottest prospects in the 2023 class is three-star guard/small forward Kaden Cooper, who was recently offered by Syracuse basketball and has seen his offer sheet skyrocket of late.

The 6-foot-6 Cooper suits up for the Oklahoma-based Team Trae Young in the Adidas league, a squad that is ranked No. 14. He is also a junior at The Skill Factory in Atlanta.

Checking in at No. 22 is the NY Jayhawks out of the Adidas league. One of the players on this group’s roster is 2023 four-star center Ugonna Kingsley, who was offered by the ‘Cuse this past February.

The 7-foot Kingsley, a junior at the Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn., has seen his national rankings climb and his offer list expand in recent weeks. He is deemed by several recruiting services as one of the best centers in his class.

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