Syracuse Basketball: 5-star center with Orange offer announces his top 8

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite the Syracuse basketball coaching staff having strong connections to both his high school and his AAU program, the Orange is officially out of the running for fast-rising 2024 center Patrick Ngongba II from the Washington, D.C., area, who recently vaulted to five stars via ESPN.

The 6-foot-10 Ngongba, who landed a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse in late April, has released a top eight of Duke, Indiana, 2022 national champion Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Michigan, Providence and 2023 national champ UConn, per an article from On3 national analyst Joe Tipton.

In late June, I wrote an article about Ngongba, stating that I didn’t think Syracuse basketball was a significant contender for him, based on recent media reports and some thoughts that I had received from a recruiting insider in the D.C. market.

Over the past few weeks, according to his Twitter page, Ngongba had secured new offers from the likes of Texas, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan. His full offer sheet also has included Duke, UConn, Mississippi State, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Providence, Kansas State, Georgetown, Iowa, Virginia, Butler, George Washington, Wichita State, Ole Miss, Maryland, Pittsburgh, George Mason and Notre Dame, among others.

Syracuse basketball didn’t make the top eight of 2024 five-star center Patrick Ngongba II.

Ngongba has taken official visits to Duke, UConn, Providence and Kansas State. According to Tipton, Ngongba “plans to take at least one more visit to one of his remaining finalists before making a decision. Ngongba says he currently does not have a commitment date, but plans to announce sometime before the early signing period in November.”

Ngongba has skyrocketed up the national rankings for the rising-senior class of late, buoyed by strong play this spring and summer on the AAU circuit. In the most recent grassroots basketball season, he helped guide the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league to the 17U Peach Jam title last Sunday.

One of his AAU teammates, by the way, is Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward who verbally pledged to the Orange in May.

In the upcoming campaign, Ngongba will be a senior at the powerhouse St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va. Previously, ‘Cuse head coach Adrian Autry and assistant coach Brenden Straughn were assistants with the Team Takeover program, and Autry also served as an assistant coach at St. Paul VI Catholic a while back.

Not long after he picked up an offer from the Orange, Ngongba said that he wanted to visit the Hill, but that never transpired. It’s worth noting that in the 2023-24 season, Syracuse basketball will have four centers on its roster, including Florida State transfer Naheem McLeod, and none of them are seniors.

When ESPN recently refreshed its 2024 national ratings, Ngongba checked in at five stars, No. 17 overall, No. 3 at center and No. 1 in Virginia. Both of the industry-generated ranking systems, the 247Sports Composite and the On3 Industry Ranking, currently have him as the No. 26 national prospect, a top-three center and the No. 1 player in Virginia within his class.

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