Syracuse Basketball: Deron Rippey Jr., who just visited, eyes 5 stars, No. 1 PG ranking

Deron Rippey Jr., who recently visited Syracuse basketball, is eyeing five-star status and the No. 1 PG ranking in 2026.
Deron Rippey Jr., who recently visited Syracuse basketball, is eyeing five-star status and the No. 1 PG ranking in 2026. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

New York native Deron Rippey Jr. recently wrapped up a stellar sophomore year and took an unofficial visit to Syracuse basketball last month that went well, his dad told me after their trip to the Hill.

The 6-foot-2 Rippey, a four-star point guard and a top-25 national prospect in the 2026 class, soon will get ready for the upcoming AAU season, where he is a standout for the New York City-based New Heights Lightning in Nike’s EYBL league.

Rippey, who helped lead his New Jersey high school to a pair of championships during the 2023-24 season, continues to rise in the national rankings for his class.

His list of scholarship offers and interest from heavyweight programs is also climbing, and that will continue later this year.

Syracuse basketball recruit Deron Rippey Jr. will contend for the top PG spot.

In 2023-24, Rippey played a key role as the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., went 22-4 overall and won the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association ("NJSIAA") Prep A state championship and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League ("MAPL") tournament title.

He was named by to its All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the NJSIAA Prep A state tourney and also received an honorable-mention nod for the 2023-24 MAPL All-League squad.

Rippey, who is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and holds a 4.0 grade point average, has participated in several USA Basketball junior national team minicamps.

He’s an extremely athletic point guard who sees the court well, has a tight handle and focuses on facilitating for his teammates. At the same time, Rippey can score in droves, whether hitting from the perimeter or using his quickness to carve out space and finish around the rim, national analysts and scouts say.

When it comes to 2026 national rankings, virtually all the primary recruiting services place him inside the top 40 overall, in the top five at point guard and within the top three in New Jersey.

When On3 refreshed its ratings for the sophomore cycle not too long ago, Rippey arrived at No. 22 nationwide, No. 4 at point guard and No. 2 in New Jersey.

As far as I can tell, he is poised to make a run at five-star status in the 2026 class, and he’s also a significant contender to merit consideration for the No. 1 national ranking at point guard in his cycle.

While his recruiting process has a way to go, his early offer sheet and interest from high-major programs is impressive, nonetheless.

The Orange offered Rippey in late August of last year. SU’s lead recruiter for him is assistant coach Allen Griffin, who has been in attendance for Blair games and open gyms to watch Rippey in recent months.

Rippey’s offer list also includes Rutgers, Illinois, Old Dominion, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Fordham, Hofstra, TCU, Long Island University, Binghamton, Washington, Texas A&M and George Washington.

He’s also garnered interest from schools such as Notre Dame, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, UConn, Kansas, Arkansas, LSU, Villanova and Seton Hall.

UConn won the national title in 2023. Kansas did so the year before that. North Carolina cut down the nets in 2017, while Virginia did so in 2019.

Villanova, meanwhile, won NCAA championships in 2016 and 2018, while Kentucky is one of college basketball’s blue bloods.

My point here is that while Rippey has a high interest in the Orange, his dad has told me, there will prove intense competition for the ‘Cuse to prevail in his recruiting process.

In late February, as SU Athletics honored the exquisite career of Hall of Famer and former long-time Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim, Rippey and two ‘Cuse four-star recruits in the 2025 class were in attendance on unofficial visits.

Rippey’s dad, Deron Rippey Sr., who is just an all-around good guy, told me that his son’s unofficial went quite well, and that they definitely have an interest in taking an official visit to Syracuse basketball in the future.

Things should really start to heat up in Deron Rippey Jr.’s recruitment soon. College coaches can start initiating direct contact with 2026 prospects on June 15, and these players may begin taking official visits beginning on August 1.

I look forward to keeping in touch with Rippey’s dad to monitor if and when they schedule an official visit to the ‘Cuse program.

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