Syracuse Basketball: Miami with tons of analyst buzz for 5-star Jalil Bethea

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

It sure looks like fellow Atlantic Coast Conference foe Miami is going to prevail for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area, who has had Syracuse basketball in his top five.

On Tuesday, I counted at least four predictions in the direction of the Hurricanes for the 6-foot-4 Bethea between the 247Sports Web site, and the On3 Web site. Recruiting insider Trilly Donovan has also logged a projection that Bethea will ultimately commit to Miami.

Bethea, a consensus top-20 national prospect in the senior cycle, has taken recent official visits to Villanova, Kansas and, most recently, Miami. He was set to officially visit both the Orange and Alabama in the near future, but those visits have been canceled, per college basketball insider Adam Zagoria.

Over the last 24 hours or so, I’ve seen a lot of unhappy Syracuse basketball fans on social media and in chat rooms, and I totally can relate. That being said, I believe that the Orange coaching staff has done everything possible to show Jalil Bethea how much they’ve prioritized him, and if he does in fact commit to Miami, best of luck to him in the Sunshine State.

Syracuse basketball, barring something unforeseen, will not prevail for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

Bethea is an All-American at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., and in the latest AAU season, he was a standout player in Nike’s EYBL league as a member of the Philadelphia-based Team Final, which won the EYBL’s regular-season title this spring in the 17U division.

The ‘Cuse offered him a scholarship in September of 2022. He took an official visit to the Hill the following month. Since Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim retired as the head coach of Syracuse basketball this past March, Bethea has said in interviews that his relationship with Orange first-year head coach Adrian Autry and his assistants has only grown.

Dating back to the spring, Autry and his staff have watched Bethea compete in post-season play for Archbishop Wood. They’ve met with him at his high school. They’ve seen him multiple times during NCAA live periods on the AAU circuit.

To reiterate, Autry & Co. have gone all in on Jalil Bethea. I had hoped that Bethea would have taken this second official visit to the ‘Cuse to watch Autry conduct practices, but that reportedly won’t happen. That saddens me a bit, but the recruiting world can be heartbreaking.

That being said, Bethea’s top five is an impressive list. And if we’re talking about Miami, well, the Hurricanes have been to a Final Four and an Elite Eight over the past two NCAA Tournaments, whereas the Orange hasn’t gone dancing in each of the last two seasons.

Jim Larrañaga, the head coach at Miami, is an excellent coach. Plus, it has to be pointed out here that there is a big Philadelphia connection between Bethea and the Hurricanes staff.

DJ Irving is an assistant coach at Miami. Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Irving worked with Team Final. Not only has Jalil Bethea been suiting up for this AAU program, but in recent years, former Miami players such as Ja’Quan Newton, Davon Reed and Lonnie Walker IV also competed for Team Final.

With such strong ties between Miami and Team Final, it’s completely understandable that Jalil Bethea appears like he will end up with the Hurricanes. I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow for Orange Nation, but Syracuse basketball still has two four-star verbal commitments in its 2024 class.

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