Syracuse Basketball: Analyst predictions arrive for 5-star target Jalil Bethea

Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball, Jalil Bethea (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

If a couple of analyst predictions made on Monday for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea ring true, Syracuse basketball isn’t going to win out in the recruiting sweepstakes of this consensus top-20 national prospect.

Of course, we’ve all seen before that such projections can end up not being accurate, however, two well-known recruiting insiders have logged predictions for the 6-foot-4 Bethea in the direction of Atlantic Coast Conference member Miami.

Those experts are Trilly Donovan and On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw, both of whom are extremely plugged into the world of high-school hoops recruiting.

Jalil Bethea has a top five of the ‘Cuse, Alabama, Kansas, Miami and Villanova. He is fresh off an official visit to the Hurricanes this past weekend, and he’s also recently taken official visits to both Kansas and Villanova, a hometown school.

Things aren’t looking great for Syracuse basketball as it relates to 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

Media reports of late had indicated that the Philadelphia-area prospect was eyeing an official visit to the Orange around September 15, with a trip to Alabama after that. On Sunday, a lot of chatter and speculation swirled around Jalil Bethea potentially canceling his upcoming official visit to the Hill.

SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister and Shaw both discussed Bethea’s recruitment in-depth in a pair of articles. They’re both subscriber-exclusive content, so I won’t be sharing details here.

What I will say with a fair amount of confidence is that the Orange isn’t going to prevail for Jalil Bethea unless he takes an official visit to the ‘Cuse, whether that be in mid-September or at another time in the near future.

Donovan published a story on Monday that read in part that Bethea’s “recruitment is wrapped up and an official announcement will happen in the next 7-10 days. Bethea may end up taking those last two visits, but from the information we have, it won’t change anything as far as the destination.”

I caught up with one national recruiting analyst who said to me that he had not heard that Bethea’s official visit to Syracuse basketball was canceled, but this expert did say he thinks Bethea’s recruiting process will come down to Kansas or Miami.

College basketball insider Adam Zagoria did note in a piece that ‘Cuse head coach Adrian Autry was scheduled to meet on Tuesday with Jalil Bethea. Zagoria writes that coaches from other teams that are also in Bethea’s top five are planning to meet with him this week as well. Update here: at around 4 pm on Monday, Zagoria said on his X page that Bethea has canceled his upcoming visits to Syracuse basketball and Alabama.

Bethea is an All-American at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., and in the latest AAU campaign, he was a top performer in Nike’s EYBL league while starring for the Philadelphia-based Team Final, which won the EYBL’s regular-season title in the 17U division.

The Orange offered a scholarship to Jalil Bethea in September of 2022. He took an official visit to the ‘Cuse the following month, but that was when Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim was still the head coach of Syracuse basketball.

To reiterate, I just can’t see the Orange landing a commitment from Bethea if he doesn’t make a trip to Central New York to visit with first-year head coach Autry and his assistants. Bethea, by the way, recently moved up to No. 7 nationwide in the senior class, per ESPN.

I always felt that Miami and Kansas would prove the biggest competition for the ‘Cuse in Bethea’s recruitment. If he does end up with the Hurricanes (or the Jayhawks), that’s a bummer for Syracuse basketball, because Jalil Bethea is a game-changing player in the 2024 cycle.

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