Syracuse Basketball: Might be long shot, but trio of 5-star bigs in 2025 would be lethal

While likely a huge long shot, Syracuse basketball could have a lethal trio of 5-star big men during the 2025-26 season.
While likely a huge long shot, Syracuse basketball could have a lethal trio of 5-star big men during the 2025-26 season. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This column about Syracuse basketball recruiting is purely hypothetical and probably a pipe dream on my part. I wanted to get that across at the onset.

Still, it's fun to dream, right? Okay, so here's the deal. One of the Orange's 2024 commits at the high school level is five-star power forward Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C. The 6-foot-10 Freeman is rated as high as No. 6 nationally in his class and is also deemed the top-ranked power forward in the 2024 cycle by several recruiting services.

Looking ahead to the 'Cuse 2025 class, in late May, the Orange picked up a massive verbal pledge, the first in this cycle for the squad, when Sadiq White Jr. from Charlotte, N.C., verbally committed to Syracuse basketball over six other finalists.

At the time of this writing, the industry-generated 247Sports Composite placed the 6-foot-8 White as five stars, in the top 25 overall, and in the top 10 at power forward.

Could Syracuse basketball have a trio of five-star big men in 2025? We'll see.

This brings me to fast-rising 2025 prospect Chris Cenac Jr. A few days ago, the 6-foot-10 power forward/center said via his X page that he had received a scholarship offer from the Orange coaching staff.

Cenac, whose offer sheet has ballooned of late, stars for the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans and runs with the Dallas-based YoungGameChangers in the PUMA-sponsored PRO16/NXT league on the AAU circuit.

When recruiting service and media outlet On3 recently updated its 2025 rankings, Cenac arrived as five stars, No. 6 nationwide, No. 3 at power forward and No. 1 in Louisiana.

Now here comes my wildly hypothetical discussion. What if Syracuse basketball saw Freeman come back for a second season, and the Orange secured a commitment from Cenac, giving the team in the 2025-26 term a trio of Freeman, Cenac and White?

That would prove a lethal group of five-star big men on the Hill. But first, a few points of context.

Number one, it's by no means a guarantee that Freeman will return to the 'Cuse for his sophomore year. He has caught the attention of NBA scouts, with one example being his play at the McDonald's All-America game in early April, as well as during practices and scrimmages that led up to this annual contest.

In the upcoming 2024-25 campaign, I expect Freeman to be in the starting line-up. If he has a strong freshman term, he could pursue a professional career after one season in Central New York.

What's more, the Orange staff just recently got into the fray for Cenac, who has a ton of high-major offers. I'll be curious to see if he ends up taking a visit to 'Cuse at some point, but it will likely prove a big-time challenge for Syracuse basketball to prevail in Cenac's recruitment.

As for White, while he has verbally committed to the Orange, he won't be able to officially sign with the program until later this year. Per, 2025 high school prospects can first sign their national letters of intent during the early period that goes from November 13 to November 20 of this year.

I'm in no way suggesting that White will renege on his verbal pledge to the 'Cuse. He appears ultra-high on the team and its coaching staff. White has unofficially visited Syracuse basketball twice, and it wouldn't surprise me if he takes an official visit to the Orange down the line.

I do believe that head coach Adrian Autry and his top-flight staff have a lot of terrific recruiting momentum these days. If somehow, someway, we could see Freeman, Cenac and White play alongside each other in 2025-26, that would prove extraordinary.

Even if it's a huge long shot.

New Syracuse basketball target Ryder Frost, who eyes visit, jumps to 4 stars, top 100. dark. Next. New Syracuse basketball target Ryder Frost, who eyes visit, jumps to 4 stars, top 100