In recent days, ESPN put out its preseason top-25 team rankings as the 2023-24 season in high school hoops is getting underway, and multiple Syracuse basketball recruits – and a commit – are eyeing the No. 1 spot across the country.
The Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., arguably the top program in high school basketball over the past few years, is No. 1 in ESPN’s top 25, and the Eagles’ loaded 2023-24 roster includes former Orange recruiting targets Derik Queen, a 2024 five-star center, Robert Wright III, a 2024 four-star point guard committed to Baylor, and Curtis Givens III, a 2024 four-star point guard committed to LSU.
Additionally, Montverde’s line-up features 2024 five-star power forward Cooper Flagg, who is committed to Duke and is the No. 1 national prospect in the senior cycle.
Another squad to mention here is No. 4 Prolific Prep in Napa Valley, Calif. Last week, Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Elijah Moore, a four-star shooting guard, tallied 27 points as his group, the Our Saviour Lutheran School in the Bronx, N.Y., defeated Prolific Prep, 100-79, at the Champions Tip-off Classic in Queens, N.Y.
Syracuse basketball recruits are suiting up for highly ranked teams in 2023-24.
Later this month, on Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Sunshine Classic, Montverde will host another titan in high school hoops, the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Both of these juggernauts are a part of the nation’s top league, the 10-member National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).
A senior at IMG is Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward who officially signed with Syracuse basketball last week. Freeman and Moore, who officially signed with the ‘Cuse over the weekend, make up an excellent two-member 2024 class for the Orange.
In ESPN’s preseason top 25, IMG resides at No. 5. Arriving at No. 6 is another NIBC member, Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y.
The Crusaders’ 2023-24 backcourt, which is supremely talented, includes 2025 four-star shooting guard Kiyan Anthony and 2025 four-star point guard Nigel James. Both hold Syracuse basketball scholarship offers. Anthony officially visited the Hill in October, while James went on an official visit to the ‘Cuse in September.
Checking in at No. 7 is St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., a powerhouse program that competes in another top high school league, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”).
Two sophomores on the St. Paul VI roster have picked up Syracuse basketball offers, and they are 2026 five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr. and 2026 point guard Anthony Brown. Smith has said he’s interested in visiting the Orange.
In the next spot, at No. 8, is yet another NIBC squad, the AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Ariz. Imahri Wooten, a 2026 four-star guard who hails from Troy, N.Y., is a sophomore with the Dragons. In October, he took an unofficial visit to Syracuse basketball, around which time he landed a ‘Cuse offer.
Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C., comes in at No. 12 in the ESPN preseason top 25. The Mustangs are led by 2025 four-star forward Sadiq White Jr., who was offered by the Orange in late April and took an unofficial visit to Central New York in September. White has said he would like to officially visit Syracuse basketball at some point.
Another top-flight WCAC group, Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., is No. 15. A standout junior for the Eagles is 2025 four-star combo guard Derek Dixon, who was offered by the Orange on June 15 of this year and went on an official visit to Syracuse basketball toward the end of September.
Many of the teams mentioned above, by the way, are significant candidates to earn invites to the annual GEICO Nationals, which in the spring of next year will crown a national champion of the 2023-24 high school hoops season.