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Syracuse Basketball: Soaring big-man recruit, nearing 5 stars, eyes visits

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Canton Repository)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Canton Repository) /

Four-star big man Nikola Bundalo from Ohio, who received a scholarship offer from Syracuse basketball this spring, is one of the fastest-rising prospects nationwide in the 2025 class, according to recruiting analysts and scouts.

It wasn’t that long ago that the 6-foot-9 power forward was unranked in the rising-junior cycle. However, as Bundalo has shined on the AAU circuit and at other showcase events in recent months, he has vaulted into the top 25, per both the industry-generated 247Sports Composite and 247Sports.

He’s perhaps on his way toward eventually attaining five-star status in the 2025 class. Bundalo’s offer list, understandably, continues to expand, with some impressive suitors having recently gotten into the mix for him.

According to several recent interviews that he’s given with national analysts, Bundalo is also starting to give some thought to mapping out campus visits. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t have a visit to the Hill in mind at this juncture, but I’ll continue to track Bundalo’s recruiting process.

Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to 2025 four-star big man Nikola Bundalo in May.

Besides the ‘Cuse, Bundalo’s growing offer sheet includes UCLA, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Creighton, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio, Texas Tech, Penn State, Nebraska, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Seton Hall, Xavier, Rutgers, Kent State and Bryant.

Per some recent reports, Bundalo is garnering interest from other schools as well, including Michigan State. In a recent interview with On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw, Bundalo said that he would like to get an offer from North Carolina, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Tar Heels end up offering him at some point.

In a recent Q&A with national analyst Jake Weingarten, the founder of, Bundalo mentioned several teams he is eyeing for visits, such as Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Illinois and Ohio State.

When discussing possible visits with On3’s Shaw, Bundalo noted schools such as Xavier, Michigan State, Iowa and Illinois.

In the 2022-23 high-school season, Bundalo had a solid sophomore year at Green High School in Uniontown, Ohio. For his junior season in 2023-24, he has moved to the Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.

Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry’s son, current George Washington freshman guard Trey Autry, played for Western Reserve. And a senior on this program’s 2023-24 roster is former Orange target Damarius Owens, a 2024 four-star small forward who is verbally committed to Marquette.

Bundalo, this spring and summer, was a standout in grassroots basketball for the Charleston, W.Va.-based Wildcat Select in the Adidas 3SSB league.

On a national scale, when I wrote this article, Bundalo checked in at No. 20 from 247Sports, No. 24 from the 247Sports Composite, No. 28 from the industry-generated On3 Industry Ranking and No. 33 from

When MADE Hoops refreshed its 2025 national ratings not too long ago, Bundalo made one of the largest jumps in this entire class, climbing 31 spots to No. 44 overall.

"In a recent evaluation of Bundalo, MADE Hoops scouting analyst Tony McNiff wrote in part this Syracuse basketball target is “a skilled & versatile forward that continues to develop at an accelerated rate. Long, mobile and fluid athlete who can do damage as a rim runner in the open floor. Prominent floorspacer who is a lethal weapon out of the pick & pop with his spot-up shooting ability. Capable low-post scorer who can finish over the top of smaller defenders in the paint. He’s flashed a strong feel & high-IQ when passing out of double teams or help defense.”"

Next. Syracuse Basketball: If 5-star commits, 2024 class may be No. 1 nationally. dark