Syracuse Basketball: 5-star Jordan Smith Jr. will 'probably' take SU official visit

Jordan Smith Jr., a 2026 5-star SG and SU priority target, says he's likely to take an official visit to Syracuse basketball.
Jordan Smith Jr., a 2026 5-star SG and SU priority target, says he's likely to take an official visit to Syracuse basketball. / ALTAN GOCHER/GettyImages

Jordan Smith Jr., a 2026 five-star shooting guard from the Washington, D.C., area who has vaulted into the top five nationally of his class, says in an interview that he will "probably" take an official visit to Syracuse basketball, although nothing is scheduled yet.

The 6-foot-3 Smith, on Sunday, won a gold medal with the USA Basketball U17 national team at the 2024 FIBA World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey. The Orange staff, among other suitors, has been in attendance for Smith at this international event.

In an interview with top national analyst/scout Jamie Shaw, Smith when discussing the latest with his recruitment said in part, “I know that I will probably take an official visit to Syracuse. I don’t have anything planned yet, but Syracuse is probably for sure."

Smith and other rising high school juniors are permitted to begin taking official visits to college programs on August 1. This past June 15, the 2026 contact period opened, enabling college coaches to start initiating direct communication with rising juniors.

Once that contact opened, Smith heard from many teams, including the Orange. Lately, his offer sheet has blown up and currently stands at more than 20. The 'Cuse offered a scholarship to Smith in early May of last year.

Syracuse basketball is prioritizing 2026 five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr.

To date, I'm aware of at least eight 2026 prospects who have picked up offers from the Orange. Following the opening of the contact period for this cycle in mid-June, media reports indicated that the 'Cuse staff had reached out to a variety of rising juniors, including players who already held Syracuse basketball offers as well as prospects who are receiving interest from the program.

Rising juniors likely have a way to go in their respective recruiting processes, although as far as I can tell, Smith is one of the top targets for the Orange in the 2026 class.

As a sophomore during the 2023-24 campaign, Smith won numerous accolades, including being named an All-American by MaxPreps, as he averaged 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game for the powerhouse St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., which went 35-3 overall and finished as the runner-up at last April's Chipotle Nationals in Brownsburg, Ind.

On the AAU circuit this spring and summer, Smith has proven a standout for the 17U squad of the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league. The EYBL's annual Peach Jam begins on July 13, and Team Takeover is one of the favorites to cut down the nets.

As I've noted on many occasions, and Smith alluded to in his recent chat with On3, the Syracuse basketball staff has deep recruiting ties to the talent-rich D.C. market. For one, head coach Adrian Autry was an assistant coach at St. Paul VI a while back.

Both Autry and assistant coach Brenden Straughn previously served as assistants with Team Takeover. Former Mount St. Mary's head coach Dan Engelstad, who joined the 'Cuse as an assistant coach in April of this year, also has strong recruiting connections in the DMV.

When discussing Syracuse basketball, Smith said to Shaw, "They’re like a Takeover program. Coach Brendan (Straughn) coached with Takeover and the head coach (Adrian Autry) coached at Fairfax (VA) Paul VI. There is a great relationship with the coaching staff and Team Takeover. ... I watched them last year when they came down to play Georgetown. They played pretty fast, and I appreciate that. They’re gritty too."

Smith's comments about the Orange are encouraging, but competition is fierce, with plenty of heavyweight programs vying for this elite 2026 prospect. Among the many schools that have offered or are showing an interest in him include two-time defending national champion UConn, Duke, Arkansas, Virginia, Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Kansas, Alabama, Villanova, Michigan, Florida State, Houston, Maryland, Providence, Kansas State and Georgetown, along with many others.

One other quick thing here. Smith told Shaw that, so far, he has taken unofficial visits to Georgetown, Villanova and Maryland. There had been a prior report that Smith was eyeing an unofficial visit to Syracuse basketball on June 7, but it appears that perhaps that visit didn't occur.

No biggie. Orange coaches are clearly recruiting Smith hard, and it does seem that he's likely to go on an official visit to Syracuse basketball in the future, which would be a huge development for the 'Cuse staff.

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