With one open scholarship spot left for the 2023 class, what player has the best chance of joining the Orange?
On June 15th, college basketball coaches can officially begin contacting high school athletes about potential athletic scholarships.
Having the opportunity to speak and meet with college coaches has historically been the needle mover for some student-athletes who have an idea of what they want but are not sold on exactly where they see themselves.
In regard to where the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is with their recruiting, they have already offered 12 recruits as of June 5th, according to 247 sports. Some of those offers have seemed to have moved on from the Orange, but it’s early enough that we’ll take a look at any recent updates to the list of 2023 offers:
Aden Holloway: Holloway has been offered a scholarship from Syracuse, but according to Rivals.com, his decision rests between four schools: Tennessee, Auburn, Miami, and Wake Forest. Holloway visited Tennessee on April 18th and has a visit planned with Miami for June 9th. Holloway also recently played on team CP3 in the Nike 2022 EBYL tournament and averaged 22 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals a game in five games played.
Blue Cain: Cain has not had any official visits to any one of the five universities he’s being scouted by as of this writing. With no one knowing really where his interests lie, it’s hard to project where the rising senior will end up at the college level.
DJ Wagner: The number two overall player in 2023, Wagner shined last week in the EYBL tournament playing for NJ Scholars. In five games, Wagner averaged 19 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds on 49.3% shooting from the field and 37% from three. Wagner has had two official visits to Kentucky and Memphis but has offers from Syracuse and three other universities. As of this writing, Wagner’s two top schools look to be Kentucky and Louisville.
Matas Buzelis: A strong EYBL performance where Buzelis averaged 13 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, earned him a selection on the Nike Louisville EYBL Second Team.
Nike EYBL Louisville: Second Team
Matas Buzelis // Expressions Elite (MA)
STATS: 13.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.4 APG
— The Circuit (@TheCircuit) June 1, 2022
The number seven overall prospect in the 2023 class on June 2nd announced his top five universities, which did not include Syracuse which offered the forward a scholarship as early as November of 2020. His top five currently include Kentucky, UNC, Wake Forest, Florida State, and the NBA G-Leauge.
Gavin Griffiths: Griffiths, the number 33 overall ranked player in the 2023 class, recently played in the Nike EYBL Lousiville tournament for the Expressions Elite. The forward over five games averaged 13.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, in front of college scouts. Following the completion of the tournament, with two college visits lined up for later in June, Griffiths announced on June 2nd that he was set to play at Rutgers University following high school.
This signing for Rutgers is their highest-rated prospect pulled in so far during the Steve Pikiell era.
Reid Ducharme: One of the most underrated forwards in the 2023 class, Ducharme is having a visit to Syracuse university later this month, around June 14th to June 16th. Ducharme is also planning visits to Xavior and Penn State this month as well. From the sound of it, Syracuse has put in the work towards landing Ducharme and should be a major player to land him if all pans out to plan.
GG Jackson: After a strong showing for team CP3 in the Nike EYBL Orlando tournament in late April, Jackson announced his decision to play at a fellow ACC school: the University of North Carolina on April 27th. He chose UNC over schools such as Duke, Auburn, South Carolina, UMass, and Georgetown and is now the number one overall player in the class of 2023 in the 247 sports high school player rankings.
Listen to his reasoning for committing to UNC here:
Tafara Gapare: Gapare, who cut his list of potential suitors down to seven last Friday, which did not include Syracuse, is set to announce his decision today at 5 P.M. CT. He recently played in the Nike Louisville EYBL tournament for team Melo where he averaged 8.7 points, seven rebounds, and 2.2 blocks and is currently the number 46 overall ranked player in 247 sports player rankings.
Isaiah Miranda: Miranda, the number 26 overall prospect in 2023, has 17 offers from D1 universities and has made two official visits to Kentucky and USC. Looking at the schools Miranda has shown interest in thus far, it doesn’t seem like Syracuse is seriously in the mix to land the Massachusetts-grown big man.
Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso: As of this writing, Onyenso has been offered 13 D1 scholarships. In February, Syracuse officially made an offer to the Nigerian big man, but he is also mulling visits with Kentucky, Kansas, and UConn this summer.
Papa Kante: As a member of the NY Rens in the Nike Louisville EYBL tournament, Kante averaged 12.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game. He is still far from making a choice on where to take his talents, but the big man has 15 official scholarship offers and made an unofficial visit to Syracuse last August.
JP Estrella: Estrella has been one of Orange’s top recruits since last August when they made him an official scholarship offer. Syracuse has been reportedly been ramping up their attempts to land the Brewster-based stretch four, according to AllSyracuse FN. Estrella currently has received five new offers to bring his total list of potential schools to 23 and with a recent visit to Marquette and a planned one to Tennessee this week.
Who do you think the Orange has the best shot at landing based on this list, or off this list? Do you think the biggest need is going to be a center or perimeter player?