Syracuse basketball with big push for 4-star Philly guard as suitors swarm

Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

This weekend marks the second of two NCAA live periods in April on the AAU circuit, and many college coaches are watching Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star priority target Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area.

The 6-foot-4 Bethea, a talented and versatile combo guard, is one of the hottest prospects nationwide, regardless of class designation. He’s vaulted inside the top 40 of the junior cycle, according to multiple recruiting services, and MADE Hoops recently placed Bethea at No. 18 across the country.

Syracuse basketball coaches, undeniably, view him as one of their top targets in the 2024 class, although the competition is intensifying. As Bethea played well last weekend for the Philadelphia-based Team Final in Nike’s EYBL league, Orange head coach Adrian Autry was in attendance.

The EYBL’s first live-period session, from April 21 to April 23, was at the LakePoint Champions Center in Emerson, Ga. The second live period of the EYBL, from April 28 to April 30, is taking place at Legacy Park in Mesa, Ariz.

Syracuse basketball is recruiting 2024 four-star guard Jalil Bethea extremely hard.

Beyond the AAU competitions, this past Wednesday, the Orange coaching staff was in to see Bethea, per a tweet from the excellent Rich Flanagan, who writes for the Philadelphia Sports Digest and City of Basketball Love.

Flanagan notes that last Thursday, Bethea was expected to receive visits from both Michigan and Kansas, which won the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

In March, Syracuse basketball coaches watched Bethea twice as he helped lead Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) 6A tournament.

In September of 2022, the ‘Cuse offered a scholarship to Jalil Bethea. The following month, he took an official visit to the Hill. Bethea has also officially visited Temple and taken unofficial visits to Penn State and Rutgers.

College basketball insider Adam Zagoria recently said on Twitter that Bethea had planned to take an unofficial visit to Villanova this past Monday. The Wildcats won national titles in 2016 and 2018.

Several recent media reports have suggested that Bethea is eyeing a visit to fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Miami in the near future.

Some of his most recent offers have arrived from Kansas, Xavier, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Georgetown. 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.

Top scout Andrew Slater of Cerebro Sports recently said in a tweet that college squads showing interest in Bethea also include Michigan and Auburn.

In the 2022-23 campaign, as a junior for Archbishop Wood, Bethea was named MVP of the loaded Philadelphia Catholic League, and MaxPreps included him on its All-America teams for the junior cycle.

Given how he fared for Archbishop Wood in 2022-23, and assuming that Bethea continues to shine in grassroots basketball over the spring and summer months, his list of impressive suitors will likely keep on expanding.

That means the Orange coaching staff will end up facing an even greater recruiting battle to prevail for Bethea. The ‘Cuse has pursued him for a while now, but we’ll have to see how Bethea’s recruiting process ultimately pans out.

Not too long ago, Bethea said in an interview that he’s in no rush to trim his list of teams still in contention for him or, ultimately, to make a commitment announcement. That’s a smart move, based on the abundance of college coaches in pursuit of his services down the line.

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