Syracuse Basketball: 5-star priority recruit Jalil Bethea puts Orange in top 5

Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

Long-time Syracuse basketball 2024 recruit Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area revealed his top five on Wednesday night, and the Orange made the cut, which is both encouraging and unsurprising.

The 6-foot-4 guard disclosed a top five of Alabama, Kansas, Miami, the ‘Cuse and Villanova, per an article from On3 national analyst Joe Tipton.

Bethea, a five-star, consensus top-20 national prospect in the rising-senior class, is arguably the fastest-rising prospect in his cycle. When the Orange coaching staff offered a scholarship to Jalil Bethea in September of 2022, some recruiting services had him inside the top 100.

These days, all of the primary recruiting Web sites have him in the top 20. ESPN currently places Bethea in the top 10. I’m of the mindset that he could make a run at the No. 1 national ranking in the 2024 class.

Syracuse basketball has made the top five of 2024 five-star priority target Jalil Bethea.

Last Friday, a report from Joseph Santoliquito on stated that Bethea “lists Syracuse, Miami, Kansas, Villanova, UConn and Alabama as his final six schools among more than 30 of the nation’s top programs that have offered him a scholarship.”

With his top five, UConn was removed from contention. Throughout his recruitment, Jalil Bethea has tallied a ton of offers from schools such as Alabama, 2023 national champion UConn, Georgia Tech, LSU, Xavier, 2022 national champ 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.

In late October of last year, Bethea took an official visit to the Hill. He has also officially visited Temple. Tipton notes that Bethea has scheduled official visits to Kansas on August 31, Miami on September 8 and Alabama on October 23.

Several recent articles from recruiting analysts have also said that Jalil Bethea may take another visit to the ‘Cuse.

In his junior year during the 2022-23 campaign for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., Bethea was a total stud. He received All-America honors and was named MVP of the loaded Philadelphia Catholic League, among other accolades.

This spring and summer on the AAU circuit, Bethea was one of the standouts on a stacked 17U roster of the Philadelphia-based Team Final in Nike’s EYBL league. Team Final won the EYBL’s 17U regular-season title, during which time Bethea averaged 18.6 points per game, a top-10 showing.

Earlier this month at the EYBL’s annual Peach Jam tournament, Team Final reached the quarterfinals with college coaches in attendance for part of this event. At Peach Jam, Bethea averaged 18.7 points per contest, again putting him among the tournament’s leaders.

I readily acknowledge that I often wear Orange-colored glasses, but Syracuse basketball coaches have seemingly done everything possible in recent months to win out for Bethea, who has spoken highly of the ‘Cuse coaching staff on many occasions.

Besides hosting him on an official visit last fall, they watched him during Archbishop Wood’s 2022-23 postseason play. Orange coaches visited Jalil Bethea at his high school. They’ve checked him out multiple times during NCAA live periods in recent months on the AAU circuit.

To reiterate, I’m glad that Syracuse basketball is in Bethea’s top five. Let’s see if the ‘Cuse coaching staff can close this one out. The Orange has two verbal commitments so far in its 2024 class (four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore and four-star power forward Donnie Freeman), and a pledge from Jalil Bethea down the line would prove massive.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: ‘Cuse transfer class in top 10 nationally, No. 1 in ACC. dark