Syracuse Basketball: Priority 4-star big lands Duke offer; not a good sign

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Syracuse basketball priority recruiting target Joseph Estrella, a 2023 four-star big man, has picked up a scholarship offer from fellow Atlantic Coast Conference team and blue-blood program Duke, he said on Twitter.

The Blue Devils officially entering the mix for the 6-foot-11 power forward/center is particularly concerning for the Orange’s chances in Estrella’s recruitment.

Duke is, well, Duke. The Blue Devils went to the Final Four this past spring in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Incoming first-year head coach Jon Scheyer, who is replacing the legendary Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski, is already crushing things with his 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes. It won’t surprise me in the least if Duke ultimately secures the fast-rising Estrella when his recruitment culminates.

Syracuse basketball faces a big-time uphill climb for four-star big man Joseph Estrella.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff got involved with Estrella early on in his recruiting process, offering him a scholarship this past August at the team’s annual Elite Camp.

Estrella has spoken positively about the Orange program on numerous occasions, noting that Syracuse basketball coaches are recruiting him hard.

However, following a stellar junior season for his high-school squad in Maine, Estrella has proven absolutely phenomenal this spring on the AAU circuit.

As such, his national rankings are starting to soar, and his list of offers is growing by leaps and bounds. I always felt that a Duke offer could prove the most problematic for the ‘Cuse in trying to win out for Estrella, and now the Blue Devils’ offer has arrived for him.

At this juncture, besides Syracuse basketball and Duke, Estrella’s other offers include from Creighton, UConn, Iona, Miami, UMass, Illinois, Missouri, Xavier, California, Maryland, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Iowa, Providence, Tennessee, Harvard, Maine, Penn State and Marquette.

Amid NCAA live periods in April on the AAU circuit where college coaches could watch high-school players in person, media reports have suggested that heavyweights such as Kansas, North Carolina and Villanova are showing interest in Estrella.

Per his bio on the 247Sports Web site, he has had official visits planned to Marquette and Tennessee. Additionally, a recent 247Sports article says that Estrella has set up an official visit to Iowa.

I’d be shocked if he doesn’t end up taking an official visit to the Blue Devils. For the Orange to have a realistic chance at prevailing in his recruitment, I think that the ‘Cuse has to get Estrella to the Hill for an official visit.

The 247Sports recruiting service recently updated its national ratings for the rising senior class, and Estrella went from unranked to four stars, No. 66 overall, No. 10 at center and No. 3 in Maine.

As other recruiting Web sites refresh their 2023 ratings, Estrella should find himself nationally ranked by them as well.

In grassroots basketball, Estrella is a stand-out for a really excellent team, the New England-based Middlesex Magic in the Under Armour Association league.

After crushing things during the 2021-22 campaign for South Portland High School in South Portland, Maine, Estrella has decided to transfer for his senior year to the powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Next. Look for Syracuse basketball to ramp up recruitment of these 5-star targets. dark