Syracuse Basketball: NYC experts on 4-star PG commit Jaquan Carlos - 'He's a baller'

NYC hoops experts weigh in on the strong fit of four-star point-guard transfer Jaquan Carlos with Syracuse basketball.
NYC hoops experts weigh in on the strong fit of four-star point-guard transfer Jaquan Carlos with Syracuse basketball. / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

New Syracuse basketball commit Jaquan Carlos is a pass-first, pure point guard who has excellent court vision, high energy, a strong handle and terrific defensive instincts, several experts tell me.

The 6-foot Carlos, a junior from Coastal Athletic Association ("CAA") member Hofstra, said on Wednesday that he would transfer to the Orange for his senior year, providing the 'Cuse with additional back-court depth ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

Rated a four-star prospect in national transfer rankings this off-season from various recruiting services, Carlos excels at leading a team as a traditional floor general who can stroke it from deep and score when opportunities arise. But one of his greatest strengths is making those around him better, analysts say.

This off-season, the Orange has seen at least six of its players from the squad's 2023-24 roster hit the portal, including two guards/wings, while sophomore point guard Judah Mintz is headed to the 2024 NBA Draft.

So a priority for the 'Cuse staff, via the portal, has likely centered on finding a veteran guard who can provide the team with quality minutes, whether as a starter or as a key reserve off the bench. I believe that Orange coaches have found such a player in Carlos, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Experts weigh in on Syracuse basketball four-star commit Jaquan Carlos, a talented point guard.

Mike McAllister, an analyst with 247Sports, and others noted that Carlos did recently travel to the Hill for an official visit. In a piece on, Carlos said, "I picked Syracuse because of the great coaching staff. I also know the big-time players they have and the players that are coming. With someone like me, I’m going to help them elevate their games and make it easier for them. I will help us win games by setting the table and being a quarterback for them."

In 2023-24, when Hofstra went 20-13 overall, Carlos put forth a stellar junior term. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per contest, per ESPN data, while connecting on 41.3 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 89.2 percent from the free-throw line.

This past February 17, when Hofstra defeated Northeastern at home, 82-62, Carlos was electric. In 34 minutes, he dished out 19 assists against just two turnovers. He also had eight rebounds and two steals.

Carlos can score. He had 19 games in 2023-24 where he reached double-figures. But his focus does appear to be more on facilitating for his teammates, and I think that's exactly what the 'Cuse needs for the next stanza.

Orange coaches may be looking for other 2024-25 players to provide the bulk of the scoring load, including returnees such as sophomore guard J.J. Starling, sophomore small forward Chris Bell, and sophomore guard/wing Chance Westry, although Westry didn't play at all this past season due to injury.

What's more, two other four-star transfers who have committed to Syracuse basketball, Delaware senior forward Jyáre Davis and Colorado senior center Eddie Lampkin Jr., should prove effective scoring in the paint and the mid-range.

Then you add in high school senior pledges in five-star power forward Donnie Freeman from Washington, D.C., and four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore from New York City, and that's potentially a lot of offensive firepower for the Orange.

So to me, having a floor general on the 2024-25 roster who commands the team, runs the point-guard position well and gets after it defensively is vital for Syracuse basketball finding success next term.

Enter Carlos, who in 2023-24 led the CAA in assists per game, was No. 3 in that league in assist/turnover ratio per affair, and was named to the conference's All-Defensive squad.

I caught up with Brian Reichert and Zach Smart, two all-around good guys who extensively cover high school basketball and recruiting in New York City and throughout the Empire State for and

Reichert said that Carlos, a three-star prep recruit in the 2021 class out of Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, is "definitely a baller."

Smart added, "Carlos can play ... JC is a true and traditional point guard with a high engine and consistent 3-point touch." On the defensive end, Smart says that Carlos really shines - "very pesky."

We'll see how everything shakes out later this year on the court, but from my perspective, Jaquan is a fabulous pick-up for the Syracuse basketball staff.

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