Syracuse Basketball: AAU coach provides update on 4-star Marcus Adams

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /

You’d be hard-pressed to find a high-school player around the country with more buzz in his recruitment than Syracuse basketball four-star priority target Marcus Adams Jr.

In late January, the fast-rising small forward took an official visit to the Hill, and Adams was in attendance at the JMA Wireless Dome when the Orange lost a heart-breaker to highly ranked Virginia.

On February 1, he disclosed via social media a top five of the ‘Cuse, Texas, UCLA, Oregon and Mississippi State. On February 4, the 6-foot-8 Adams said on Twitter that his recruitment remains open, and understandably so.

Just in the past few days, he has received scholarship offers from big-time college programs such as 2022 national champion Kansas, UCLA, Southern California, Arkansas and Indiana.

Syracuse basketball faces growing competition for four-star small forward Marcus Adams Jr.

With these new offers arriving – and possibly more on the way – that has left some Syracuse basketball recruiting enthusiasts fearing that the Orange’s chances of prevailing for Marcus Adams Jr. are dwindling.

But not so fast, my fellow ‘Cuse fans. Cory DeSanti, Adams’ AAU coach, tells me, “Syracuse is definitely in it.”

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to Adams in late December. A top-65 national prospect according to 247Sports, he has the option available to be a member of either the 2023 or the 2024 recruiting cycle.

Marcus Adams Jr., so far in the 2022-23 campaign, is averaging nearly 30 points per game for Narbonne High School in the Harbor City area of Los Angeles, which on Friday night was scheduled to have its first game in the L.A. City Section Open Division playoffs.

Assuming Narbonne goes far in the playoffs, that could limit the availability of Adams to take other official visits on weekends in the near future. As far as which college teams may get official visits from Adams, DeSanti said he thinks UCLA, Southern California and Kansas will get official visits.

But DeSanti added that other schools, such as Mississippi State and Oregon, are possibilities as well. Nothing is set in stone, DeSanti said, and “we need to really sit down and talk about the visits and schools.”

DeSanti, the head coach of the Los Angeles-based Elev8 Elite, which is an Adidas-sponsored program and Adams’ AAU team, did say that at this point, he thinks a timeline for a college decision by Adams is mid-April.

There have been some reports out there that Marcus Adams Jr. may be eyeing an unofficial visit to Syracuse basketball on Saturday, March 4, when the Orange hosts Wake Forest in the 2022-23 regular-season finale.

It’s not definite that Adams will take an unofficial visit to the ‘Cuse at that time, DeSanti says, noting that it all comes down to Adams’ availability amid his high-school team’s post-season play and other visits that he may end up taking.

When I asked DeSanti what Marcus Adams Jr. is looking for in his ultimate collegiate destination, the AAU coach cited competing for a top-tier program, having the opportunity for significant minutes right away, and playing for a squad that best enables him to be a one-and-done player and then head to the professional ranks.

Even with these new offers rolling in for Adams, I personally believe that the Orange is a formidable contender for him. As I noted in another recent column, national analyst Rob Cassidy put Syracuse basketball at No. 1 in his ranking of Adams’ contenders, but that ranking only included the schools in his top five from the beginning of February.

As I first reported last month, businessman, philanthropist and top SU booster Adam Weitsman has offered a significant name, image and likeness deal to Adams. Weitsman has told me that his NIL offer to Adams is for the 2023 class.

DeSanti declined to discuss the NIL topic with me. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Adams ends up receiving other NIL offers as well.

In a recent interview with 247Sports national analyst Brandon Jenkins, Adams said that he may end up making one more list cut in his recruiting process.

Marcus Adams Jr. said to Jenkins, “The purpose of the top five was not to cut any schools off but to show the schools that I am mainly interested in. Now that all of these coaches are offering, it is making me rethink that decision. Each school that has offered this week has told me that I am a guy that they need to score the basketball and I can make an impact on their team.”

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