Syracuse Basketball: 5-star guard with Orange in his top 4 set to announce

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Bucks County Courier Times) /

Jalil Bethea, a 2024 five-star guard from the Philadelphia area, is set to make his college decision next week and has a final four that includes Syracuse basketball, according to a post on X from college basketball insider Adam Zagoria.

Zagoria writes that the 6-foot-4 Bethea will announce his future collegiate destination “Tuesday or Wednesday at his school” and his final four consist of Miami, the Orange, Villanova and Kansas.

Previously, Bethea had a top five of those teams plus Alabama. It appears the Crimson Tide is no longer in contention, according to Zagoria’s X post.

That being said, Bethea was planning to officially visit the Hill this coming weekend for a second time and also officially visit Alabama in the near future, but he canceled those visits, per another recent post on X from Zagoria.

In recent weeks, Bethea has taken official visits to Miami, Kansas and Villanova. He officially visited Syracuse basketball in October of 2022, after receiving a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse the previous month.

Syracuse basketball is likely not going to prevail for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.

I’m not in Bethea’s inner circle, but his including the Orange in his final four seems like a formality to me. If he was truly and seriously considering the ‘Cuse, I believe he would have taken that official visit to Central New York this weekend.

Yes, he took an official visit to the Hill last fall, but a trip this weekend I imagine would have enabled him to check out practices conducted by first-year head coach Adrian Autry and his staff.

An All-American at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., Bethea has undeniably spoken in a positive manner about the Syracuse basketball program, its coaches and its players throughout the course of his recruitment.

But all signs, these days, point to him selecting fellow Atlantic Coast Conference team Miami next week. When I wrote this column, I saw a slew of analyst predictions in the Hurricanes’ direction for Bethea on recruiting Web sites.

Recruiting insider Trilly Donovan has projected Bethea to Miami on The Hurricanes also have at least 10 predictions in their favor for Bethea between the 247Sports Web site, and the On3 Web site.

As I’ve said many times in recent months, Autry and his assistants have done everything humanly possible to show Bethea how much they are prioritizing him in the senior cycle. Miami’s coaching staff has some strong connections to the Philadelphia region and AAU program Team Final, which Bethea helped lead to a regular-season championship this spring on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

In my years covering Syracuse basketball recruiting for Inside The Loud House dating back to 2016, I’ve seen the recruiting processes of top-flight prospects change rather rapidly, so I guess until Jalil Bethea makes his college decision known this coming week, the Orange is technically still in the running.

But assuming the ‘Cuse doesn’t win out here, let’s not forget that the Orange has two four-star verbal commitments to date in the 2024 class, from talented shooting guard Elijah Moore and elite power forward Donnie Freeman, and the team’s senior cycle presently hovers around the top 10 nationally.

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