Syracuse Basketball: Fast-rising PG from New York wants to hear from SU

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

Nigel James, a 2025 point guard who hails from New York state and plays ball for Massachusetts prep-school and AAU teams, said in a recent interview that he’d like to see Syracuse basketball coaches get involved in his recruitment.

Given how the 6-foot James, a sophomore, has played so far in the early goings of the AAU circuit during the spring and summer months, I’m hopeful that the Orange will ultimately offer a scholarship to this young man, who shines on the court and off the court as well.

Lately, I’ve come across numerous comments from national recruiting analysts and scouts that speak to the strong performances that James has produced in grassroots basketball, including when two NCAA live periods occurred on the AAU circuit in late April.

James attends the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass. In grassroots basketball, he is a standout for the 16U team of the Boston-based Expressions Elite in Nike’s EYBL league.

I’d love to see Syracuse basketball offer underrated 2025 point guard Nigel James.

Last month, amid two live periods, the EYBL held games first in Emerson, Ga., and then in Mesa, Ariz. According to the EYBL Web site, during those contests, James averaged 15.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for Expressions Elite, while hitting on 46.4 percent from the field and 79.1 percent from the free-throw line.

I have every confidence that as recruiting services update their 2025 national rankings in the coming months, James will emerge as a four-star, top-100 national player, if not higher than that.

In a recent interview with scouting service Pro Insight, James mentioned a few teams that he’d like to hear from, including Syracuse basketball, Villanova and UConn, which last month won the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

At present, James’ early offer sheet includes Marquette, Providence, Manhattan, UMass, Saint Joseph’s and UAB. He also is garnering interest from squads such as Iowa State, Iowa, Rhode Island, George Mason, Northwestern and Creighton.

In mid-June of this year, college coaches can start initiating direct contact with 2025 prospects. At that time, I’m sure James will see his offer list balloon, and to reiterate, I’d love to see Syracuse basketball get into the mix.

James, who was born in New York City and grew up in the town of Huntington on Long Island, is a versatile three-level scorer who shines at getting into the paint and finishing through contact, according to recruiting analysts and scouts.

He is athletic, quick, has good court vision, leaves it all out on the floor on both offense and defense, and does whatever he can to help his team win, experts say.

In the 2022-23 season, Cushing Academy went 23-10 overall. The Penguins reached the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (“NEPSAC”) AA title game, and Cushing Academy also advanced to the Elite Eight of the prestigious National Prep Championship.

To date, as far as I can tell, Syracuse basketball coaches have offered scholarships to nine high-school players in the 2025 class.

Some of the Orange’s latest offers in this cycle have gone out to five-star point guard Tyler Jackson, four-star wing Cam Ward, five-star shooting guard Darryn Peterson and four-star small forward Sadiq White.

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