Syracuse Basketball: 4-star commit, recruit are favorites to win Peach Jam

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports) /

As the Peach Jam tournament prepares to transpire early next month on the Nike EYBL circuit, the two top teams entering this prestigious annual event have numerous big-time Syracuse basketball recruiting connections.

Late last month, the EYBL wrapped up its regular season ahead of Peach Jam by conducting its fourth spring session in Memphis, Tenn. During that session, the Philadelphia-based Team Final wrapped up the regular-season title by sporting a terrific 16-1 overall mark.

Team Final also captured first place in the B division of the 17U league. In the A division, the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover arrived in first place, with an overall record of 14-3.

The 2023 Peach Jam, by the way, will take place from July 3 to July 9 at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, S.C.

Syracuse basketball recruiting enthusiasts will want to keep tabs on this year’s Peach Jam.

One of the standouts for Team Final is 2024 four-star guard Jalil Bethea. The 6-foot-4 Bethea, an All-American at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., is a long-time priority recruit for the Orange in the junior class.

He received a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse in September of 2022 and took an official visit to the Hill the following month.

Other stars on the Team Final 17U roster are 2024 four-star point guard Robert Wright III and 2024 four-star center Thomas Sorber. Both held Syracuse basketball offers. Wright is verbally committed to Baylor, while Sorber recently gave a verbal commitment to Georgetown.

Team Takeover is a program quite familiar to the ‘Cuse coaching staff. Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry and assistant coach Brenden Straughn both previously served as assistant coaches with the Team Takeover program.

Last month, 2024 four-star power forward Donnie Freeman verbally committed to the Orange. The 6-foot-9 Freeman chose Syracuse basketball over other finalists Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech.

Freeman is one of the standouts for Team Takeover. Two of his Team Takeover colleagues are 2024 four-star wing Caleb Williams and 2024 four-star center Patrick Ngongba II. In late April, the ‘Cuse offered both the 6-foot-7 Williams, out of the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., and the 6-foot-10 Ngongba, who attends St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., where Autry was an assistant coach a while back.

Not too long ago, Freeman said in a podcast interview that he’s trying to help the Orange recruit Williams, Ngongba and Bethea to join him in the Syracuse basketball 20224 class. The ‘Cuse also has a verbal commitment in its junior cycle from 2024 four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore out of New York City.

During the EYBL’s regular season, Bethea proved one of the league’s top scorers, averaging 18.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, while connecting on 49.8 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from beyond the arc and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Freeman, this spring on the Nike circuit, has averaged 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest, while hitting on 55.0 percent from the field, 30.0 percent from deep and 54.1 percent from the charity stripe. He is a star for St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if either Team Final or Team Takeover is the last squad standing at Peach Jam next month.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: This off-season, Adrian Autry a big recruiting winner. dark