Syracuse basketball 5-star recruits among stars at showcase, analyst says

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

Recently, two Syracuse basketball recruits in the 2026 class caught the attention of top national analysts and scouts for their play at a showcase event in North Carolina.

Last weekend, the 11th-annual CP3 Rising Stars National Camp took place in Winston-Salem, N.C. Per On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw, more than 300 top-flight players in the 2026 and 2027 classes participated in the invite-only event.

Two Orange targets in the sophomore recruiting cycle who attended this showcase were 2026 five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr. from the Washington, D.C., area, and fast-rising 2026 point guard Deron Rippey Jr. from Brooklyn, N.Y., who multiple experts have told me of late is likely to be rated as either high four stars or five stars as more recruiting services publish national rankings for this cycle.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-3 Smith in early May, while the 6-foot-2 Rippey picked up an Orange offer last week.

Syracuse basketball 2026 recruits Jordan Smith Jr. and Deron Rippey Jr. balled out.

During and after this year’s CP3 Rising Stars National Camp, I saw numerous national recruiting analysts and scouts, including Shaw and others, point to Smith and Rippey as being two of the top performers in Winston-Salem.

"Shaw, in fact, named Smith as his MVP at the camp, with the expert writing in part, “There was a toughness that we saw in Jordan Smith that lasted from the opening top until the final whistle. It was a relentless style of play that started on the defensive end and quickly turned into a lot of easy buckets.”"

Smith, a five-star, top-20 national prospect according to ESPN, plays for St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., and the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league, an AAU program that has extensive connections to the Syracuse basketball coaching staff.

To date, besides the ‘Cuse, Smith holds early offers from schools including Villanova, George Mason, Providence, Mount St. Mary’s, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Maryland and Georgetown.

"Regarding Rippey, Shaw wrote, “DeRon Rippey steps into the gym as one of the most explosive players on the floor. He has a quick first step and lives in the paint. He got on the rim in traffic and showed some solid passing reads. There is some electricity in his game.”"

Rippey attends the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., and was a stock riser this spring and summer in grassroots basketball suiting up for the New York City-based New Heights Lightning on the EYBL circuit.

His offer list includes Old Dominion, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Fordham, Hofstra, TCU, Long Island University, Binghamton, Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Texas A&M and George Washington.

As I noted in another recent article, Rippey has high interest in the Orange and is looking to schedule an unofficial visit to Syracuse basketball in the coming months, along with possibly St. John’s and George Washington, his dad, Deron Rippey Sr., has told me.

Right before the CP3 Rising Stars National Camp, Deron Rippey Jr. went with his AAU coach on unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina.

While the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels aren’t showing interest in Rippey yet, his dad says, Rippey told Pro Insight analyst Conrad Chow in late July that Duke and UNC were two of his dream schools growing up, along with the ‘Cuse and a few others.

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