Syracuse basketball 4-star Philly recruit eyes more visits, Kentucky interest

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball 2024 priority target Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area continues to skyrocket up the national rankings, as the 6-foot-4 guard recently vaulted inside the top 20 across the country, according to two of the primary recruiting services.

Bethea, a long-time target of the Orange coaching staff, has proven an elite performer this spring on the AAU circuit, following an All-American junior season with Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa. That has fueled a growing offer sheet and a big bump in his 2024 national ratings.

The ‘Cuse has two verbal commitments in its top-10 nationally rated cycle, from four-star power forward Donnie Freeman out of Washington, D.C., and four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore from New York City.

While Syracuse basketball coaches are pursuing other 2024 prospects, Bethea undeniably is their top target in this class. I believe that the Orange has a good shot at landing him, but there is stiff competition out there.

Syracuse basketball coaches have a strong relationship with 2024 four-star guard Jalil Bethea.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to Bethea last September, and he took an official visit to the Hill the following month. He has said that he may take another visit to the Orange at some point.

So far, Bethea has also officially visited Temple. He recently told On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw that he plans to take official visits to 2022 national champion Kansas and fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Miami.

Rob Cassidy, a national analyst with, recently said that Bethea may also potentially visit Alabama. The Crimson Tide offered a scholarship to Bethea in late May.

In Shaw’s piece, Bethea said that he is receiving interest from Kentucky. If the Wildcats end up offering him, “That offer would be a big deal. As a little kid, I watched them a lot growing up. You look at the good players, the good guards in the NBA, a lot of them came from Kentucky. They play up and down and get after it. I think I fit how they play,” Bethea said to Shaw.

Besides Syracuse basketball, Bethea’s offer sheet includes Alabama, 2023 national champion UConn, Georgia Tech, LSU, Xavier, 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.

This is solely my opinion, as I am not in Bethea’s inner circle, but I feel like the biggest competitors for the Orange in his recruitment are Kansas and Miami. Alabama is one to watch, too, and if Kentucky offers, that could pose a problem for the ‘Cuse.

That being said, Bethea has said in many interviews that his relationships with a school’s coaching staff are vital, and he wants to go to a program where he is cared about, feels like he is a top priority, has a family environment and fits his play style.

I believe that Syracuse basketball checks all of those boxes. SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister, a top recruiting analyst for SU sports, noted some of these sentiments during a recent interview with ESPN Syracuse’s Orange Nation.

"To that end, here’s what Bethea had to say about the ‘Cuse in his recent chat with On3’s Shaw. “I have a great relationship with the staff at Syracuse,. Even though (Jim) Boeheim left, that doesn’t matter because Gerry McNamara and Coach (Adrian) Autry are both there. They both hit me up and call me almost every day. They care about me a lot, and they let it be known they want me to go there, and I am a top priority for them.”"

For the time being, Bethea is locked in on the AAU circuit. His squad, the Philadelphia-based Team Final, captured the Nike EYBL regular-season 17U title late last month and is the favorite to win this year’s Peach Jam tournament, which will run from July 3 to July 9 in North Augusta, S.C.

Bethea has said in a couple of recent interviews that he could make a commitment announcement sometime in September, but nothing is set in stone. I expect Syracuse basketball to remain in the running for him until the end of his recruiting process.

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