Syracuse Basketball: Analyzing 'Cuse recruiting focus among 2025 4-star guard targets

Syracuse basketball recently offered 2025 4-star guard Acaden Lewis. We look at other 'Cuse guard recruits in this class.
Syracuse basketball recently offered 2025 4-star guard Acaden Lewis. We look at other 'Cuse guard recruits in this class. / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

In recent days, Syracuse basketball coaches offered a scholarship to 2025 four-star guard Acaden Lewis from the talent-rich Washington, D.C., market.

The 6-foot-3 point guard/shooting guard is interested in visiting the Orange as the current AAU season winds down, and it wouldn't surprise me if Lewis emerges as a top priority for 'Cuse coaches in the 2025 cycle.

Lewis is a top-70 national prospect and had a splendid junior season at the Sidwell Friends School in D.C. He's also a standout, in grassroots basketball, for the 17U squad of the Oxon Hill, Md.-based Team Durant in Nike’s EYBL league.

In total, the Orange staff has offered around 20 prospects in the 2025 cycle, but these days, the 'Cuse is prioritizing a handful of players in this class, including several guards.

We can likely add Lewis to this list. But how does offering him now factor into the Orange's other top guard recruits in the 2025 cycle? Let's explore this topic further.

Examining various priority guard targets for Syracuse basketball in the high school junior class.

Some context. For one, we have virtually no idea right now what the 'Cuse roster will look like as 2025 high school prospects get set to enter college, due to the transfer portal, professional aspirations, etc.

So it's hard to gauge at the moment just how many guards the Orange staff even wants to bring in at the high school level within the 2025 cycle. What's more, 'Cuse coaches could offer additional 2025 guards, although players in this class are starting to eye their college decisions as they approach their final seasons in high school later this year.

Additionally, Syracuse basketball recruits in the 2025 class could see their positional focus perhaps shift. What I mean by this is, if a guy who is 6-foot-3, for example, adds a few more inches of height before college, he could transform from a point guard to a shooting guard or even a small forward out on the wing.

In any event, beyond Lewis, from my perspective, there are a couple of 2025 guards who Orange fans should continue to monitor. They include four-star shooting guard Kiyan Anthony, four-star point guard Nigel James, four-star combo guard Derek Dixon and four-star point guard Tyler Jackson.

Kiyan Anthony
I have no reason to think that Anthony doesn't remain one of the Orange's top guard targets in the 2025 class. He was a key reserve this past season for Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y., which was a top-five national team. Anthony took an official visit to the 'Cuse in late October of last year. Syracuse basketball should remain a serious contender for him until the very end of his recruiting process.

Nigel James
James is a backcourt teammate of Anthony's at Long Island Lutheran. He unofficially visited 'Cuse last August and officially visited Syracuse basketball the following month. James has spoken highly of Syracuse basketball on many occasions. That being said, I believe that former Orange associate head coach Gerry McNamara, the new head coach at Siena, had been James' primary recruiter at the 'Cuse. Around the time that GMac left for Siena, I was told that his departure didn't impact James' interest in Syracuse basketball, although he has officially visited other schools and continues to pick up other offers, including a recent one from Louisville.

Derek Dixon
Dixon, a standout at another D.C. program, Gonzaga College High School, took an official visit to the Orange in late September of 2023. In mid-February of this year, I noted in an article that the 'Cuse was in the lead for Dixon, per On3's recruiting prediction machine, but upon last glance, Syracuse basketball was No. 3 behind Virginia and Pittsburgh. That being said, a few days ago, the Orange staff was in attendance at Gonzaga, according to that team's head coach, Steve Turner.

Tyler Jackson
The Baltimore product, who spent his junior season with the Atlanta-based professional league Overtime Elite, took an official visit to the 'Cuse in late January of this year, and it was his first official visit. That was an encouraging sign, a national analyst recently said. Jackson is also good friends with Anthony. Conversely, Jackson has unofficially visited Auburn and Maryland, and he's eyeing upcoming visits to Maryland again, along with Kansas and Ole Miss, according to 247Sports national analyst Dushawn London. Jackson has a lot of suitors pursuing him, analysts say, so the competition is steep.

Jerry Easter II
I'll also mention Easter, a 2025 four-star point guard and a top-20 national prospect, here. He holds a Syracuse basketball scholarship offer and has said in the past that he wanted to visit the 'Cuse. A lot of Orange fans who I interact with on social media and in chat rooms are high on Easter, but recent reports indicate he's focused on visiting other schools. Could he still visit the Orange? Perhaps. But I don't think Syracuse basketball is likely to land Easter, a standout at the La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind. Candidly, it's unclear to me whether 'Cuse coaches are heavily recruiting him these days.

Things can ebb and flow, and I'm not pretending to be a recruiting analyst here. However, if I had to venture a guess, Syracuse basketball offering Lewis this past week, when it's somewhat late in the game for the 2025 class, leads me to think that the Orange will end up prioritizing him.

I also believe that Anthony is a top guard target for SU. It's more fuzzy to me, regarding other 2025 guards such as James, Dixon and Jackson. Let's see how this all shakes out.

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