Syracuse Basketball: 5-star recruit goes off on big stage, has blue-blood interest

Jordan Smith Jr., a 5-star shooting guard from the D.C. area, has a Syracuse basketball offer and interest from blue-bloods.
Jordan Smith Jr., a 5-star shooting guard from the D.C. area, has a Syracuse basketball offer and interest from blue-bloods. / Amanda Inscore/The News-Press USA TODAY

Syracuse basketball target Jordan Smith Jr., a five-star shooting guard in the 2026 class, is only a sophomore in high school, but that in no way prevented him from shining versus elite competition at a recent prestigious event.

The 6-foot-3 Smith, deemed by several recruiting services as a top-20 national prospect and a top-five shooting guard in his class, attends the powerhouse St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., a program where Orange head coach Adrian Autry used to serve as an assistant coach a while back.

Smith and St. Paul VI, in recent days, were among numerous top-flight squads that competed in the 2023 City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.

St. Paul VI finished in third place at this showcase, and Smith earned a lot of high praise for his performances against several of the country’s premier high school programs.

Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to five-star Jordan Smith Jr. in early May.

Last Thursday, in the City of Palms Classic’s quarterfinal round, St. Paul VI squeaked out a 71-70 victory over the IMG Academy from Bradenton, Fla., whose 2023-24 roster includes Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward.

In his team’s win, Smith tallied 14 points, five rebounds and one steal, and he made 7-of-9 shots from the field, according to a box score provided by the X account of League Ready.

By the way, in a recent top-10 national ranking by MaxPreps of high school groups that don’t compete for state-affiliated titles, IMG was No. 8 overall. St. Paul VI, meanwhile, was No. 1 in MaxPreps’ top-25 national team ratings for programs that do compete for state-affiliated championships.

On Friday night, in a City of Palms Classic semifinal battle that aired on ESPNU, St. Paul VI fell in a tight contest, 69-62, to the top-ranked Montverde Academy from Montverde, Fla., which ultimately won this showcase event. Smith produced 10 points, three boards and one steal, hitting on 5-of-6 from the field.

Then, on Saturday evening, in another affair on ESPNU, St. Paul VI played in the third-place game against the Link Academy in Branson, Mo., which captured the 2023 GEICO Nationals. In the MaxPreps top 10, Link was No. 4 across the country.

St. Paul VI triumphed over Link, 74-71. Smith, who is lauded by experts for his defensive-minded instincts, generated six points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks versus Link.

In St. Paul VI’s opening-round affair at the City of Palms Classic, on December 18, it defeated Millennium High School from Goodyear, Ariz., 80-61. Smith scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, to go along with five boards, one assist and one block.

Smith, who is ranked as high as No. 10 nationwide in his class by On3, recently picked up a scholarship offer from Michigan. His offer sheet also includes schools such as Villanova, George Mason, Providence, Mount St. Mary’s, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Maryland and Georgetown.

Without question, his offer list will significantly expand, especially since college coaches can’t initiate direct communication with 2026 prospects until June 15 of next year.

Per a recent article by Dylan Lutey on, fellow Atlantic Coast Conference team and blue-blood program Duke has shown an interest in Smith.

Lutey writes that Smith’s “dream offers” include the Blue Devils, Kansas and Houston – three heavyweight units in collegiate hoops.

Smith has said in the past that he has an interest in possibly visiting Syracuse basketball. That would prove a critical development if the Orange coaching staff hopes to prevail for Smith, although his recruiting process likely has a long way to go.

Syracuse basketball coaches do have strong recruiting ties to the Washington, D.C., region. In addition to Autry previously coaching at St. Paul VI, both he and ‘Cuse assistant coach Brenden Straughn coached at the Washington, D.C.-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league.

Smith competes for Team Takeover, which is one of the best AAU programs out there. This past July, Freeman won a 17U Peach Jam crown on the EYBL circuit with Team Takeover, whose Orange alumni also include Syracuse basketball sophomore wing Justin Taylor and junior forward Benny Williams, among others.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Adrian Autry sees 4-stars Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony stun champs. Syracuse Basketball: Adrian Autry sees 4-stars Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony stun champs. dark