Syracuse basketball has ‘great’ relationship with 4-star who erupts in AAU

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

The Nike EYBL league on the AAU circuit got its third spring session underway on Friday night, and Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star priority recruit Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area had a monster showing in his first game.

The 6-foot-4 combo guard, according to the EYBL Web site, put up 32 points and three rebounds in 34 minutes of action. He was 10-of-14 from the field, 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Bethea’s AAU team is the Philadelphia-based Team Final. On Friday evening from the Southwest Athletic Center in Carrollton, Texas, Team Final defeated the New York City-based New Heights Lightning by a final count of 85-82. These are two of the premier AAU squads around the country across all of the shoe-sponsored circuits.

By the way, a standout for the New Heights Lightning is former Orange recruiting target Elliot Cadeau, a 2024 five-star point guard who had Syracuse basketball in his top six before verbally committing to North Carolina.

Against Team Final, the 6-foot-1 Cadeau registered an impressive triple-double of 21 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.

Four-star junior guard Jalil Bethea briefly discussed his recruitment, including Syracuse basketball.

Besides starring for Team Final, Bethea received All-America honors during his junior year in helping guide Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., this past March to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) 6A tournament.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to him in September of 2022. He made an official visit to the Hill the following month and has also officially visited Temple.

Per an article from 247Sports national analyst and scout Brandon Jenkins, Bethea plans to take an official visit to 2023 Final Four participant Miami this summer.

"He spoke to Jenkins about the Hurricanes, the Owls and the Orange. Regarding Syracuse basketball, Bethea said, “The staff tells me I am the missing piece. They want me bad. I talk to Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara. They have been there since the beginning and have built a great relationship with me ever since.”"

According to reports, Orange coaches recently visited Bethea. The ‘Cuse also watched him in late April amid live periods on the AAU circuit. Additionally, in March, Syracuse basketball was in attendance twice for Bethea as he competed in the Pennsylvania playoffs for Archbishop Wood.

I do think that the Orange has a decent shot at landing him, given that the ‘Cuse coaching staff has prioritized Bethea for a while now. That being said, his recruitment has blown up, and new offers are arriving all the time.

Since mid-April, for example, his newer offers have included 2023 national champion UConn, Georgia Tech, LSU, Xavier, 2022 national champ Kansas, 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.

Bethea is one of the hottest prospects nationwide, regardless of class designation. He has moved into the top 50 overall, according to several recruiting services. MADE Hoops recently placed Bethea at No. 10 nationally in the 2024 cycle.

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