Syracuse Basketball: AAU coach details decision by 4-star Marcus Adams

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images) /

Earlier this week, Syracuse basketball missed out on fast-rising prospect Marcus Adams Jr., who said on social media that he was verbally committing to Kansas, the defending national champion.

The 6-foot-8 Adams, a four-star small forward who reportedly has the option available to be a member of either the 2023 or the 2024 class, was down to a final three of the Orange, the Jayhawks and his hometown college squad, UCLA.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to Marcus Adams Jr. in late December. In late January, he took an official visit to the Hill. He also officially visited Kansas and UCLA.

Adams, who recently vaulted into the top 30 overall of the 2024 cycle per 247Sports, is a standout for Narbonne High School in the Harbor City area of Los Angeles.

I caught up with Adams’ AAU coach to get some insights into why he picked the Jayhawks as his future collegiate destination.

Syracuse basketball didn’t prevail for four-star small forward Marcus Adams Jr.

On the AAU circuit, Marcus Adams Jr. has been competing for the Los Angeles-based Elev8 Elite, an Adidas-sponsored program.

"Cory DeSanti, the head coach of Elev8 Elite, said in part to me that “Kansas offered everything Marcus was looking for in a school, great coach, great conference, defending national champion, and maybe the loudest arena in the country. Also they play the game the right way, he fits perfectly in their system. … I really feel like the style of play is great team basketball.”"

The Jayhawks won the 2022 NCAA Tournament, defeating North Carolina in the title game. And as the 2023 Big Dance inches closer, Kansas is in line to receive a No. 1 seed and has a serious chance to repeat as national champs under Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self.

DeSanti noted that current Kansas freshman guard Gradey Dick and/or redshirt junior forward Jalen Wilson could head to the NBA after the 2022-23 campaign, and that potentially “leaves a lot of minutes as well as opportunities to have a big role in Coach Self’s offense.”

"DeSanti added, “Kansas being the defending national champion and Self’s track record for winning and producing high-level NBA guys really factored big time in the decision” by Marcus Adams Jr. to verbally commit to the Jayhawks."

In the past, DeSanti has declined to comment to me as it pertains to NIL and how that may have factored into Adams’ recruiting process.

His recruitment really blew up last month, when a slew of additional offers came in from the likes of Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Tennessee, Kansas State, Xavier, Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, Southern California and UCLA.

DeSanti had previously said to me that Adams’ official visit to the ‘Cuse in late January went really well, adding, “Syracuse blew him away.”

However, once UCLA formally offered Marcus Adams Jr., along with Kansas and others, I kind of figured that it would prove extremely tough for the Orange to win out in his recruitment.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 5-star target caps off stellar season with NJ state title. dark