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Syracuse Basketball: With 4-star recruits in town, need packed, loud Dome

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Similar to mid-September, this is another big weekend for the Syracuse basketball program, as multiple four-star recruits are taking official visits to the Hill.

Simultaneously, on Saturday afternoon, Syracuse football (4-0) hosts Clemson (2-2) to open Atlantic Coast Conference play for the Orange. It’s also arguably the most important game to date for Syracuse football in the 2023 season.

This weekend, per numerous media reports, Syracuse basketball 2025 targets Matthew Gilhool and Derek Dixon are taking their respective first official visits, and those trips are to Central New York, which is awesome.

Additionally, Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman is also expected to take an official visit to the Orange, which would be his second official to the ‘Cuse. He took another official visit to the Orange back in April, verbally committing to the program the following month.

The Orange fan base can make a strong impression on several Syracuse basketball recruits.

Now, my assumption is that Gilhool, Dixon and Freeman will be in attendance when Syracuse football battles Clemson. I don’t know that for sure, but usually, recruits on visits check out ‘Cuse games at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Regardless, the Syracuse Orange fan base has an opportunity to show these four-star prospects what Syracuse University and ‘Cuse sports are all about while they officially visit Syracuse basketball.

So if you run into Matthew, Derek and Donnie, say hi and let them know just how awesome SU and the ‘Cuse sports community are. My hope is that when Syracuse football goes toe to toe with the Tigers, the Dome is absolutely packed and crazy loud, so all of the hoops recruits in attendance get a sense of what it would be like to play in the Dome.

Gilhool, a 2025 four-star big man from Philadelphia, and Dixon, a 2025 four-star combo guard from Washington, D.C., are relatively new targets for Syracuse basketball. Gilhool was offered a scholarship by the Orange late last month, around the time that he participated in the team’s annual Elite Camp.

Dixon, meanwhile, received a ‘Cuse offer in mid-June. Both are fast-rising players in the junior cycle, with each having recently jumped into the top 80 across the country. Plus, the Orange coaching staff has, in recent weeks, been in attendance for Gilhool and Dixon during open gyms at their high schools.

Gilhool goes to William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, while Dixon is a standout for Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

Freeman, a four-star power forward and a top-30 national prospect in the senior class, also hails from our nation’s capital, although he is spending his senior year at the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Two weekends ago, 2025 four-star point guard Nigel James from New York state took an official visit to Syracuse basketball, while 2025 four-star forward Sadiq White from the Charlotte, N.C., area went on an unofficial visit to the ‘Cuse.

James, too, picked up a Syracuse basketball offer toward the end of August at the Orange’s Elite Camp, while White landed his ‘Cuse offer in late April. As I noted in other recent articles, the Orange is one of the leading contenders for James at this point in his recruitment, while White said in a recent interview that he will officially visit the program at some point.

Syracuse basketball coaches have proven quite active in hosting targets on visits as well as hitting the road to watch prospects at open gyms since the fall recruiting period got underway a few weeks back.

This is exciting to see, and I sincerely hope that Matthew, Derek and Donnie have fabulous official visits this weekend. My fingers are crossed that Syracuse football kicks Clemson’s butt, too.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 5-star Tyler Jackson, 4-star Kiyan Anthony to visit SU. dark