Syracuse basketball in ‘good spot’ with 5-star, says insider Trilly Donovan

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

It’s likely that we’re heading down the home stretch in the recruiting process of 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area, who has Syracuse basketball in his top five but is also reportedly receiving interest from blue-bloods Duke and Kentucky.

Beginning at the end of August, the 6-foot-4 Bethea is planning to take official visits to all five of his finalists, starting with Kansas, according to media reports. His top five consist of the Orange, Alabama, Kansas, Miami and Villanova.

Bethea, a consensus top-20 national prospect in the rising-senior class, will reportedly take a second official visit to the ‘Cuse in mid-September. He also officially visited the ‘Cuse last fall, not long after the team offered a scholarship to him.

At present, I don’t see any analyst predictions for Bethea on the 247Sports Web site, or the On3 Web site. However, I have come across comments lately from national recruiting analysts and other insiders that do speak to Syracuse basketball being a strong contender for him.

Syracuse basketball is putting on a full-court press for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

Of course, with Duke and Kentucky having interest, and all five of his finalists being excellent programs, it’s tough to gauge a true front-runner at this point, especially with all of these official visits approaching for Bethea in the near future.

I had a little back-and-forth exchange not too long ago on Twitter with noted insider Trilly Donovan, who comes out with scoops seemingly all the time on basketball-related developments.

Donovan acknowledged that competition is fierce to prevail in Bethea’s recruitment, but the insider wrote “Cuse is in a good spot right now.”

I followed up by asking Donovan if he viewed any of Bethea’s five finalists as a favorite (or favorites) these days, and Donovan responded, “Cuse/Kansas as of right now. Lot of visits coming up though so should have a clearer picture then.”

In a recent article, 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi discussed the recruitments of various top-flight 2024 players, including Bethea. It’s a subscriber-exclusive story, so I won’t be sharing details, but I will briefly note that Kansas’ name came up, as did Syracuse basketball, among others.

Late last month, I asked national analyst Rob Cassidy about Bethea as well, and Cassidy did speak favorably about the Orange’s chances, while also noting the Jayhawks and other suitors.

The long and short of it is that until Bethea begins taking his official visits in the coming weeks, we’re not going to really know where the ‘Cuse and his other finalists stand. Syracuse basketball coaches, for a long time, have prioritized Bethea, so if he ultimately chooses another school, it won’t be because the Orange coaching staff didn’t put in a significant effort (and 2024 four-star commit Donnie Freeman is doing his part as well).

It’s always encouraging to hear that the ‘Cuse is in a good spot with a five-star prospect, according to a top insider like Trilly Donovan. But even he acknowledges that until the official visits come and go, things aren’t super clear about which direction Bethea may be leaning.

We also have to keep in mind the name, image and likeness issue and how that might factor into everything.

Assuming that first-year head coach Adrian Autry, his staff and current players do an amazing job when Bethea visits the Hill for a second time this September, that’s all we can ask for, as how his visits to others in his top five go is completely out of the Orange coaching staff’s control.

Bethea, an All-American at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., who also has starred for the Philadelphia-based Team Final in Nike’s EYBL league, can’t go wrong with any of his finalists.

Naturally, I hope that he picks the ‘Cuse. It would be a massive addition to the Syracuse basketball two-member 2024 class. In the interim, it’s going to be a nerve-wracking couple of weeks for Orange hoops fanatics, if not longer than that, as Bethea takes his official visits and then mulls when to make his commitment announcement.

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