2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea in this cycle for qui..."/> 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea in this cycle for qui..."/>

5-star SG has strong relationship with Syracuse basketball, may visit again

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

Syracuse basketball coaches have prioritized 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea in this cycle for quite a while now, and my fingers are crossed that the Orange’s consistent pursuit of him will pay off when he ultimately makes his college decision.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to the fast-rising, 6-foot-4 Bethea back in September of 2022 when Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim was still the Orange’s head coach. Bethea took an official visit to the Hill the following month. Last fall, Bethea was a top-100 national prospect in the rising-senior class, according to several recruiting services.

But his stock, in recent months, has skyrocketed perhaps more than any other player in the 2024 cycle. As a junior in the 2022-23 season for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., Bethea received All-America honors.

In grassroots basketball this spring and summer, he was one of the standouts for the 17U squad of the Philadelphia-based Team Final, which won the regular-season title on Nike’s EYBL circuit and reached the quarterfinals of last weekend’s Peach Jam.

All of this has led Jalil Bethea to vault inside the top 20 of the 2024 class, according to all of the primary recruiting services. ESPN now has him in the top 10. Both of the industry-generated rating systems, the 247Sports Composite and the On3 Industry Ranking, have Bethea as five stars these days.

Syracuse basketball seems to be one of the front-runners for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

When Boeheim was still at the helm of the ‘Cuse during 2022-23, the Orange coaching staff appeared to be making Bethea a priority in the 2024 cycle. However, once Adrian Autry took over the program in March, and Boeheim retired, I feel like Syracuse basketball further ramped up its recruiting of Bethea.

This spring and summer, according to media reports and comments from recruiting experts, Autry and his assistants have watched Bethea in person on many occasions. They checked Bethea out twice as he competed for Archbishop Wood during post-season play.

SU coaches also met with Bethea at his high school. And during NCAA live periods on the AAU circuit in late April and at the recent Peach Jam, the Orange coaching staff was in attendance for Bethea.

I’ll say this. If the ‘Cuse doesn’t ultimately prevail for him, it won’t be for a lack of trying. Bethea holds more than 20 offers from a range of high-major programs. Kentucky and Michigan reportedly have shown interest in him.

At present, Bethea has officially visited Temple and the Orange. He plans to take an official visit to Kansas on August 31, per a recent article from On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw.

Bethea told Shaw that he’s talking with Miami about a visit. He added, “I am thinking about maybe going on another visit to Syracuse and maybe somewhere like Alabama.”

To my knowledge, the Hurricanes, similar to the ‘Cuse, have pursued Bethea for a while now. The Crimson Tide are led by former Buffalo head coach Nate Oats. I’d also keep an eye on Villanova, a hometown team for Bethea, and maybe LSU.

I’ve seen some reports of late suggesting that Bethea may trim his list of contenders in the near future. This is solely my opinion, but I’d expect Syracuse basketball to make the cut. I think the two biggest competitors for the Orange, at least for the time being, are Kansas and Miami.

"In Shaw’s piece, check out what Bethea had to say about Syracuse basketball. “They welcomed me and treated me like I was already on the team, already a player. It felt a lot like another place I could call home. Since Coach (Adrian) Autry took over as the head coach, our relationship has actually grown. … When Coach (Jim) Boeheim was the coach, I talked with all the coaches and was able to build a really good relationship with everyone on the staff. All that has just grown.”"

You never know how things will pan out in the recruiting processes of elite players such as Jalil Bethea, however, my gut tells me that the Orange has a pretty darn good shot of landing him. Should that occur, it would prove huge for the team’s 2024 class, as Bethea could make a run at the No. 1 national ranking in his cycle.

Plus, the Syracuse basketball two-member 2024 class is already rated in the top 10 across the country, with verbal commitments from four-star shooting guard and top-60 prospect Elijah Moore of New York City, as well as four-star power forward and top-30 overall player Donnie Freeman of Washington, D.C.

Syracuse Basketball: Baltimore 5-star target, top-ranked PG, wins AAU title. dark. Next