Syracuse Basketball: As Peach Jam looms, Jalil Bethea playing like 5 stars

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

A reasonable case can be made that Syracuse basketball priority recruit Jalil Bethea, as the AAU circuit inches toward its summer conclusion, is the hottest prospect nationwide, regardless of class designation.

The 6-foot-4 Bethea and his Nike EYBL teammates, including two former Orange targets, just clinched the regular-season championship on the spring EYBL circuit. Now this elite squad, the Philadelphia-based Team Final, has its sights set on winning the prestigious Peach Jam tournament, which will take place from July 3 to July 9 in North Augusta, S.C.

Jalil Bethea, one of the top targets for Syracuse basketball coaches in the 2024 class, is a four-star combo guard who was offered a scholarship by the ‘Cuse last September and took an official visit to the Hill the following month.

Syracuse basketball coaches have prioritized him in this cycle for a long time, watching him suit up during post-season games for his high-school team in March, checking him out amid NCAA live periods in grassroots basketball in late April, and also recently making a trip to visit with Bethea in person.

Syracuse basketball 2024 four-star recruit Jalil Bethea is scorching hot in AAU events.

In the Nike EYBL league, he has produced strong performances in all of this league’s four spring sessions, including the most recent one in Memphis, Tenn., when Team Final went 5-0 to finish at 16-1 overall.

That resulted in Team Final claiming the EYBL regular-season crown, and Bethea & Co. should be deemed the front-runner to emerge victorious at Peach Jam in early July. Of course, Jalil Bethea isn’t the only highly touted player on Team Final’s stacked 17U roster.

The squad’s line-up also features top-flight prospects including 2024 four-star point guard Robert Wright III and 2024 four-star center Thomas Sorber, two former ‘Cuse recruits who are verbally committed to Baylor and Georgetown, respectively.

Still, Jalil Bethea is a key piece for Team Final, which went unblemished this past weekend in the EYBL’s fourth regular-season session at the Memphis Sports & Events Center. By the way, in The Circuit’s most recent national top 25 of the best AAU 17U groups around the country, Team Final checked in at No. 1 overall.

Courtesy of the EYBL Web site, here are the statistics for Jalil Bethea from Team Final’s games in Memphis:
Game One: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Game Two: 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
Game Three: 28 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Game Four: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Game Five: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal

For the entire EYBL regular season, Bethea has averaged 18.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 26.4 minutes per game. He’s a high-volume shooter and still connecting on 49.8 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line.

In recent months, Jalil Bethea has vaulted into the top 40 nationwide, according to several recruiting services. But given how he’s played in grassroots basketball this spring, he candidly has evolved into a five-star, top-25 national prospect in the 2024 class.

To that end, in a recent write-up, MADE Hoops scouting analyst Tony McNiff noted that Jalil Bethea has moved into the top five of that recruiting service’s 2024 national ratings.

While Syracuse basketball coaches continue to recruit Bethea extremely hard, his offer sheet has significantly expanded. His list of offers now includes teams such as 2023 national champion UConn, Georgia Tech, LSU, Xavier, 2022 national champ Kansas, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Temple, UCLA, Villanova, VCU, Mississippi State and West Virginia, among others.

A recent article on says that Jalil Bethea is scheduled to play in the 27th-annual Rasual Butler All-City Classic, a showcase event in the Philadelphia area that will occur on Friday, June 2, at West Philadelphia High School.

As a junior during the 2022-23 season, Bethea was an All-American and the MVP of the Philadelphia Catholic League. He helped guide Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) 6A tournament.

Assuming that he continues to soar for Team Final and Archbishop Wood, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jalil Bethea ends up as a consensus five-star, top-10 overall player in the 2024 class.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 4-star Donnie Freeman recruiting top targets for 2024. dark