New Syracuse basketball PG target eyes high 4 stars or 5 stars – analysts

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

New Syracuse basketball target Deron Rippey Jr. is poised to arrive as either a high four-star or a five-star prospect as recruiting services start to unveil their 2026 national rankings, several experts have told me in recent days.

The 6-foot-2 point guard, offered a scholarship by Orange assistant coach Allen Griffin not too long ago, is a rising sophomore at the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J.

Rippey was a standout performer this spring and summer on the AAU circuit while playing for the 15U squad of the New York City-based New Heights Lightning in Nike’s EYBL league, highlighted by a 30-point game during the EYBL’s annual Peach Jam tournament that was held in early July in North Augusta, S.C.

Besides the ‘Cuse, Rippey’s offer sheet includes Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Fordham, Hofstra, TCU, Long Island University, Binghamton, Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Texas A&M and George Washington.

Syracuse basketball recruit Deron Rippey Jr. should enter the 2026 national ratings in a big way.

In the spring, Rippey was named one of 18 finalists for the 2023 USA 16U national team after competing at a training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. More recently, he competed at the CP3 Rising Stars National Camp in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Rob Cassidy, a national analyst with, told me that he’s planning to publish his inaugural 2026 national rankings the first week of September, and he’s likely to place Rippey in the No. 20 to No. 30 range.

Cassidy wrote about Rippey, “He’s as quick as any guard in the class and sees the court well. Not a dead-eye shooter just yet but he creates shots for himself and for teammates. More of a slasher than a shooter right now. His quickness will allow him to be a great defender if he adds size and decides to give consistent effort on that end. Big upside.”

Tony McNiff, a scouting analyst with MADE Hoops, told me that his recruiting service currently rates Rippey at roughly No. 40 in the sophomore cycle.

On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw had some positive things to say about Rippey around the time of the 2023 USA 16U national team training camp. Shaw says that On3 is working on its 2026 national rankings as we speak, adding that Rippey is “good. Very, very fast.”

In an article published in recent days on, writer Brian Reichert, who extensively covers hoops throughout New York state, says that Rippey is a legit candidate for five-star status.

"Notes Reichert: “We have been covering his meteoric rise all offseason as he’s impressed players, scouts, writers and several D1 college coaches. Rippey is an elite finisher, has a terrific handle, isn’t afraid of big moments and can lift up his teammates as well. He’s a complete player entering his sophomore year and we expect him to keep improving his trajectory. … We can’t wait to see what Rippey has in store for his next season at Blair and if he’s able to mirror his success this summer expect to see five stars next to his name.”"

Rippey’s dad, Deron Rippey Sr., who is a really good guy, told me in a recent phone interview that once school commences for his son, they’re going to look at scheduling some potential unofficial visits, including to Syracuse basketball and possibly St. John’s and George Washington.

While his recruiting process has a way to go, Deron Rippey Jr. has high interest in the Orange, his dad says. I’ll continue to stay in touch with Deron Rippey Sr. to see if and when his son might travel to Central New York for a visit.

To that end, as recruiting services unveil their 2026 national rankings, I’ll of course track where Deron Rippey Jr. resides in them.

Besides Rippey, who is from Brooklyn, N.Y., Syracuse basketball coaches have offered scholarships to at least two other 2026 prospects, and they are five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr. of St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., and four-star small forward Maximo Adams of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif.

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