Syracuse basketball 4-star Philly recruit poised for big things on AAU circuit

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

The first live period of the AAU circuit is taking place this weekend, and numerous recruiting experts appear to be honed in on Syracuse basketball priority target Jalil Bethea, a fast-rising four-star guard in the 2024 cycle.

I’ll certainly be curious whether the Orange coaching staff is out and about at AAU competitions during this live period from April 21 to April 23 to watch the 6-foot-4 Bethea or other recruiting targets in the 2024 or 2025 classes.

Earlier this month, national analysts and scouts showered Bethea with high praise as he performed at a strong level while suiting up in two grassroots basketball events, GymRat LIVE in the Albany, N.Y., area and MADE Hoops’ East Warmup in Manalapan, N.J.

This week, basketball recruiting director Rob Cassidy published a piece where he detailed five high-school players to watch during the spring and summer months on the AAU circuit, starting with the live period this weekend.

Cassidy noted Bethea in his article, and that didn’t surprise me one bit, with the way the Syracuse basketball recruit performed in his junior season starring for a Philadelphia-area high school along with those two recent grassroots basketball showcases.

Four-star junior guard Jalil Bethea is a top target for Syracuse basketball in the 2024 class.

It’s an understatement to say that Jalil Bethea is one of the fastest-rising prospects around the country, and not just in the 2024 cycle, but frankly across all high-school recruiting classes. As recruiting services have updated their 2024 national rankings, Bethea has made some of the largest leaps nationwide.

He’s a top-40 overall player and a top-15 shooting guard at this juncture, per several recruiting Web sites. And not too long ago, MADE Hoops installed Bethea as the No. 18 prospect within the junior cycle.

"Here’s what Cassidy wrote about Bethea in his article on “One of the hottest backcourt names in the country, Bethea jumped 41 spots in the last rankings refresh, but his play as of late suggests that may not have been enough. The Pennsylvania product has long been known as a reliable shooter, but he seems to be making strides when it comes to shot creation and giving effort on the defensive end. He currently sits at No. 39 in the Rivals150, and is well on his way to improving that mark because of his versatility. If Bethea proves to be a real option at the point, then the top 20 is not out of reach.”"

I’m not a recruiting analyst nor a scout, but I’ve followed Bethea closely for a while now. I’ll say this. If he continues his stellar play, he should be a consensus five-star, top-25 national prospect in his class, according to all of the primary recruiting services.

In grassroots basketball, Bethea plays on a loaded roster for the Philadelphia-based Team Final in Nike’s EYBL league. Another member of Team Final in the 2024 class is four-star Thomas Sorber, a 6-foot-9 center who is also a recruiting target of Syracuse basketball coaches in this cycle.

Last month, Orange head coach Adrian Autry and his staff watched Bethea twice during his high-school team’s post-season play. During the 2022-23 campaign, he was named an All-American by MaxPreps and earned Philadelphia Catholic League MVP honors as he starred for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa.

Led by Bethea, Archbishop Wood in March advanced to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) 6A tournament.

Syracuse basketball coaches offered a scholarship to Bethea in September of 2022. The following month, he took an official visit to the Hill.

Bethea, lately, has picked up new scholarship offers from Georgetown and Virginia Tech, he said via Twitter. His offer sheet also includes Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Temple, UCLA, Villanova, VCU, Mississippi State and West Virginia, among others.

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