Syracuse Basketball: Expert dishes on 4-stars Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony

Syracuse basketball, Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Two of the top priority targets for Syracuse basketball coaches in the 2025 class are New York high-school teammates Nigel James, a four-star point guard, and Kiyan Anthony, a four-star shooting guard.

Both the 6-foot James and the 6-foot-5 Anthony are fast-rising juniors. In the upcoming 2023-24 season, they will compete together in a stacked backcourt of the powerhouse Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y., which is a member of the loaded 10-team National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).

With some NIBC games scheduled to air on national broadcasts this upcoming term, Orange fans will have opportunities to watch James and Anthony, which is awesome.

In mid-September, Nigel James took an official visit to Syracuse basketball. Not too long ago, Kiyan Anthony, the son of ‘Cuse legend Carmelo Anthony, also took an official visit to the Orange. Each prospect has many other impressive suitors, although I feel that the ‘Cuse is going to prove a significant contender in both of their respective recruitments.

A top expert weighs in on Syracuse basketball four-star targets Nigel James and Kiyan Anthony.

A couple of days ago, Zach Smart, who extensively covers high-school basketball and recruiting in New York City and throughout the Empire State for, wrote a piece on various New York prospects, including James and Anthony.

"Smart, a really good guy who knows his stuff, said in part about James that he possesses “a rarefied feel for the game as a prodigious play creator with a knack for the timely read. He’s developed an adeptness for creating space with his handle and really finishing in crafty, ambidextrous fashion. He has a uniqueness in his ability to score via difficult, highly contested shots. James is an athletically explosive guard who carves his way to the rim effortlessly and leaves defenders chasing. He’s a real chore to stay in front of given his shiftiness and relentlessness while in constant attack mode.”"

Prior to transferring to Long Island Lutheran, James played at the Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass. He was a standout performer during the most recent AAU season for the Boston-based Expressions Elite in Nike’s EYBL league.

Besides his trip to Syracuse basketball, Nigel James has taken official visits to Rutgers, Providence and, most recently, Marquette. He picked up an Orange offer in late August, and his full offer sheet also includes Creighton, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, George Mason, Iowa, Marquette, UMass, Minnesota, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Southern California, Wake Forest, Xavier, Manhattan, Saint Joseph’s and UAB, among others.

Nigel James, who was born in New York City and grew up in the town of Huntington on Long Island, is a top-100 national prospect, according to 247Sports, although he’s underrated to me by other recruiting services.

Kiyan Anthony, meanwhile, previously suited up at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, N.Y., before transferring to Long Island Lutheran. Similar to James, his stock exploded this spring and summer in grassroots basketball, during which time Anthony competed for the Baltimore-based Team Melo in Nike’s EYBL league.

At present, several of the primary recruiting services rank Kiyan Anthony as a top-40 overall player in the 2025 cycle, and he also recently vaulted into the top 25, per refreshed national rankings from The Circuit.

Syracuse basketball coaches offered a scholarship to Anthony last November. His full offer list also includes West Virginia, UCF, Michigan, Maryland, Dayton, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Albany, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Seton Hall, UMass, Providence, Memphis, Bryant, George Mason and Manhattan.

Prior to his official visit to the Hill, Kiyan Anthony went on an official visit to Florida State, and Anthony has said that he also plans to officially visit Big Ten Conference schools Indiana and Michigan in the future.

"Smart wrote in part that Anthony “is able to pick apart a defense with his hard driving and quick release, from mid-range and beyond the confines of the arc. Anthony has grown in length and power. Having cemented his status as a three-level scoring threat during an inspirational season on the EYBL circuit during the spring and summer. He’s a thorough finisher who crams dunks with both hands and can deliver that momentum-rolling play in traffic.”"

I’m pumped to see Nigel James and Kiyan Anthony continue to hone their crafts in the 2023-24 high-school season and beyond. It will be fun to watch them on national TV in the coming months.

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