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Syracuse Basketball: Peach Jam primer for 4-star commit and 5-star recruit

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

The annual Peach Jam tournament kicks off on Monday, July 3, and Syracuse basketball recruiting enthusiasts have a couple of players to root for as Nike’s EYBL 17U league will ultimately crown a champion for its current season on the AAU circuit.

The Philadelphia-based Team Final, which captured the EYBL regular-season title by tallying a 16-1 overall mark, is perhaps the top front-runner to win the 2023 Peach Jam, which runs from July 3 to July 9 at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, S.C.

Team Final has a loaded roster, and one of its stars is Syracuse basketball 2024 priority recruit Jalil Bethea, a five-star guard. The 6-foot-4 Bethea, who was offered by the Orange last September and took an official visit to the Hill the following month, was lights out in the EYBL regular season.

Another potential favorite to claim this year’s Peach Jam is the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover, which during the EYBL regular season won its division with a 14-3 record. Team Takeover also has a stacked line-up that features Orange 2024 four-star commit Donnie Freeman, a 6-foot-9 power forward who verbally committed to the ‘Cuse in May.

Syracuse basketball recruiting fans will want to check out the 2023 Peach Jam.

For this year’s Peach Jam, there are four divisions, each with six teams in them. So during “pool play,” Team Final and Team Takeover will both suit up in five games. Team Final is in the “A” division, while Team Takeover is in the “C” division.

Here’s the pool play schedule for each squad (all times are Eastern Standard Time):

Team Final

Monday, July 3, at 7:30 pm versus UPLAY Canada (Toronto)
Tuesday, July 4, at 4:30 pm versus New Heights Lightning (New York City)
Wednesday, July 5, at 1:30 pm versus Team CP3 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Thursday, July 6, at 4:30 pm versus Meanstreets (Chicago)
Friday, July 7, at 6 pm versus JL3 (Houston)

Team Takeover

Monday, July 3, at 6 pm versus Expressions (Boston)
Tuesday, July 4, at 4:30 pm versus Vegas Elite (Las Vegas)
Wednesday, July 5, at 1:30 pm versus Paul George Elite (Los Angeles)
Thursday, July 6, at 4:30 pm versus The Family (Detroit)
Friday, July 7, at 6 pm versus Boo Williams (Hampton Roads, Va.)

The top two teams in each division of pool play will advance to the quarterfinal round, which will get going on Saturday, July 8, at noon. The semifinals will occur on Saturday evening. The championship game, to air live on ESPNU, will begin at 4 pm on Sunday, July 9.

Assuming that both Team Final and Team Takeover advance out of pool play, it’s possible that they could end up meeting in the semifinals or the title game (assuming they both keep winning).

If one of these two teams is first in its division, and the other one is second in its division, they could meet in the semifinals. However, if both groups come in first or second in their respective divisions, they wouldn’t potentially meet up until the final contest.

Team Final, in addition to Bethea, has two former Syracuse basketball recruits on its roster. They are 2024 four-star point guard Robert Wright III (verbally committed to Baylor) and 2024 four-star center Thomas Sorber (verbally committed to Georgetown).

The Team Takeover line-up also includes 2024 four-star wing Caleb Williams and 2024 four-star center Patrick Ngongba II, both of whom received scholarship offers from the Orange in late April.

Williams had the ‘Cuse in his top seven but recently gave a verbal commitment to Georgetown. Syracuse basketball, at this time, doesn’t appear to be a contender for Ngongba.

Even still, I’d love to be able to watch Donnie Freeman and Jalil Bethea duke it out on national television for this season’s Peach Jam crown!

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Priority recruit Jalil Bethea vaults to 5 stars, top 15. dark