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Syracuse Basketball: ‘Cuse has stellar 4-star, one-two punch in 2024 class

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball has the makings of a special 2024 recruiting cycle.

The Orange coaching staff has landed verbal commitments from two prospects so far in the junior class, and it’s a fantastic one-two punch to jump-start the team’s 2024 cycle.

While ‘Cuse coaches continue to pursue a range of other four-star and five-star targets in this class, the squad also has developed a stellar foundation for its 2024 cycle, buoyed by the verbal commitment this week of four-star big man Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C.

The 6-foot-9 power forward, a few days ago, picked the Orange over other finalists Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech.

In late January, four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore from New York City was the first verbal pledge in the ‘Cuse 2024 class. The 6-foot-4 Moore committed to Syracuse basketball over his four other finalists, which were Alabama, Arkansas, Miami and Oklahoma State.

Syracuse basketball is off to a hot start in its 2024 recruiting cycle.

Orange head coach Adrian Autry, who took the reins from Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim this past March, and his assistants did a fabulous job prioritizing Freeman of late.

New assistant coach Brenden Straughn, who along with Autry has ties to Freeman’s AAU program in D.C., coming to the Hill this spring certainly was pivotal in ultimately getting a verbal commitment from Freeman.

With its first two pledges in 2024, Syracuse basketball has one of the top shooting guards and one of the premier big men around the entire country in the junior cycle.

According to numerous recruiting services, in the 2024 class, Freeman is a top-40 national prospect, a top-seven power forward and the No. 1 player in our nation’s capital.

Moore, meanwhile, is a top-70 overall player, a top-20 shooting guard and a top-four prospect in the state of New York, per several recruiting Web sites.

I assume that the Orange coaching staff is far from done with its 2024 recruiting efforts, but even still, it already has landed the No. 1 prospect in D.C. and a top-four player in New York state. That’s pretty, pretty good, and it’s critical to note that the Washington metropolitan area and the Empire State are two key recruiting regions for the ‘Cuse.

In the 2022-23 season, Freeman guided the nationally-ranked St. John’s College High School in D.C. to the 2023 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”) tournament title. In his 2022-23 stanza, Moore helped lead Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, N.Y., to the New York “AA” Archdiocesan tournament championship.

Both of these Syracuse basketball four-star commits received various honors for their junior seasons. St. John’s and Cardinal Hayes are preseason top-25 squads ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, when I believe that Freeman and Moore will contend for All-America honors.

But before that, I’m excited to watch them throughout the AAU circuit this spring and summer. Freeman is a standout for the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league, and Moore is a star for the Bronx, N.Y.-based Wiz Kids in the Adidas 3SSB league.

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