Syracuse basketball 4-star priority target’s AAU team ranks No. 1 in nation

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

As Nike’s EYBL league holds its fourth and final regular-season session this weekend in Memphis, Tenn., the AAU team of Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star priority recruit Jalil Bethea has vaulted to the top of the national rankings in grassroots basketball.

In the latest 17U top-25 team ratings from the analysts and scouts of The Circuit, the No. 1 AAU squad is the Philadelphia-based Team Final.

This excellent team, whose roster features multiple top-flight prospects including Bethea, has sported a 15-2 overall record this spring in grassroots basketball as the EYBL was holding its fourth session from May 26 to May 29 at the Memphis Sports & Events Center.

In the EYBL’s third session held earlier this month at the Southwest Athletic Center in Carrollton, Texas, Team Final went 4-0, including a win over The Circuit’s No. 2 squad in its latest ratings, the New York City-based New Heights Lightning, which was 12-4 heading into the Memphis session this weekend.

In Team Final’s 85-82 victory over the New Heights Lightning, the 6-foot-4 Bethea was fabulous, tallying 32 points. For the New Heights Lightning, former Orange target Elliot Cadeau, a 2024 five-star point guard who is verbally committed to North Carolina, recorded a triple-double.

Syracuse basketball recruit Jalil Bethea is on the country’s top AAU squad.

I’ll certainly be tracking how Bethea and Team Final fare during the fourth EYBL session this weekend in Memphis. Two of his Team Final colleagues are former ‘Cuse recruits. They are 2024 four-star point guard Robert Wright III, who is verbally committed to Baylor, and 2024 four-star center Thomas Sorber, who recently gave a verbal commitment to Georgetown.

Led by these top-level prospects, Team Final should be one of the favorites to win this summer’s EYBL championship, which will take place during the prestigious Peach Jam tournament from July 3 to July 9 in North Augusta, S.C.

Another EYBL group to monitor this weekend in Memphis and looking ahead toward the Peach Jam is the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover, which had a 9-3 record heading into this fourth spring session and was ranked No. 13 in The Circuit’s latest top 25.

Three players with Syracuse basketball connections on Team Takeover are 2024 four-star power forward Donnie Freeman, 2024 four-star center Patrick Ngongba II and 2024 four-star wing Caleb Williams.

The 6-foot-9 Freeman verbally committed to the Orange earlier this month. Syracuse basketball coaches, in late April, offered scholarships to both the 6-foot-7 Williams and the 6-foot-10 Ngongba.

Freeman recently said that he is trying to help recruit Ngongba, Williams and Bethea to join him in the ‘Cuse 2024 cycle. At this juncture, Syracuse basketball has two verbal commitments in the junior class, from Freeman and four-star Elijah Moore, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of New York City who pledged to the Orange in late January.

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