Syracuse basketball 4-star commit, 5-star targets soar in preseason top 25

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: The News-Press)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: The News-Press) /

Preseason prognostications from experts suggest that a Syracuse basketball four-star commit and numerous four-star and five-star recruits will suit up this coming season for some of the best high-school programs nationwide.

Naturally, preseason projections are speculative in nature, but they’re still fun to discuss, particularly when they relate to Orange hoops recruiting.

Samad Hines, a top high-school basketball analyst, recently published his updated preseason top 25 for the 2023-24 campaign, and I’m counting more than a half-dozen teams that have connections to the ‘Cuse.

Some of these highly rated squads, by the way, are expected to compete for berths in next spring’s GEICO Nationals, an eight-team event that will crown a national champion at the high-school level.

Let’s see where Syracuse basketball recruits reside in a preseason top 25.

No. 3, Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y.
The Crusaders went 23-3 a term ago, finishing second in the prestigious National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”) while also competing in the 2023 GEICO Nationals.

Nigel James, a 2025 four-star point guard who was offered a scholarship by the Orange not too long ago, is on Long Island Lutheran’s 2023-24 roster, as is ‘Cuse 2025 priority recruit Kiyan Anthony, a four-star shooting guard and a top-40 national prospect in his class.

No. 4, IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The Ascenders, another NIBC member, were 20-8 last season and also participated in the most recent GEICO Nationals. In recent weeks, Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward, said he would transfer from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., to IMG.

No. 6, St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va.
The Panthers were excellent in 2022-23, going 31-4 and reaching the 2023 GEICO Nationals. Two members of the St. Paul VI roster are 2026 five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr., who picked up a ‘Cuse offer in May, and 2026 point guard Anthony Brown, who was offered by the Orange in recent days after competing in the team’s annual Elite Camp.

No. 8, La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind.
The Lakers, another NIBC team, weren’t stellar a stanza ago, going 18-10 overall. However, this off-season La Lumiere stacked its 2023-24 roster, with two transfers into the program being 2025 five-star point guard Jerry Easter II and 2025 five-star combo guard Darius Adams. Both Easter and Adams were offered by Syracuse basketball in the summer of 2022.

No. 12, Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.
Similar to St. Paul VI, Gonzaga competes in the powerhouse Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. A season ago, Gonzaga went 26-11, and a key contributor for the Eagles in 2023-24 will be 2025 four-star combo guard Derek Dixon, who received a Syracuse basketball offer on June 15, the day that the contact period opened up for his class.

No. 21, Southern California Academy in Northridge, Calif.
One of the standouts for the Rams, which finished 20-9 in 2022-23, is 2025 four-star combo guard DeMarco Johnson. He was offered by the Orange in late July, and as I noted in a recent article, Johnson is hoping to make an official visit to the ‘Cuse in the future.

No. 23, Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C.
The Mustangs are an excellent group out of North Carolina, having gone 28-4 a term ago. A standout for Myers Park is 2025 five-star power forward Sadiq White, who landed a Syracuse basketball offer in late April.

No. 29, Huntington Expression Prep in Huntington, W.Va.
The Irish fell just outside Hines’ preseason top 25. In 2022-23, Huntington Prep went 15-10 overall against a brutal schedule. Looking ahead to 2023-24, the Irish scored a major win when word recently came out that 2025 five-star shooting guard Darryn Peterson was joining the program for his junior year. The Orange offered Peterson in late April.

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