We’ve reached the quiet period of the basketball recruiting calendar which means that most evaluations for summer 2019 are complete. Nike’s Peach Jam concluded last month (along with the other circuits), so save for a few one-off events, summer basketball has just about reached its end too.
The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball coaching staff was out in full force this summer with NCAA sanctions well in the rear view. The program has been swinging hard at the 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes in particular, targeting higher ranked recruits than it has in recent years.
This prompted a pair of questions a few weeks back regarding where the orange stand with top prospects Terrence Clarke and Andre Jackson.
Terrence Clarke is currently the No. 3 ranked recruit (according to 247) in the class of 2021. He’s considering a reclass into 2020 and holds offers from Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Louisville and Syracuse among many others.
Interestingly enough, he’s worked out with Carmelo Anthony a bit this summer and plays his high school basketball at Brewster Academy, a prep school in New Hampshire that has sent multiple players to Syracuse in recent years. We spoke with Clarke last summer just before he went to Syracuse’s Elite Camp.
Still, when you have the blue bloods knocking on your door it’s hard to turn those guys away. So yeah, you’re reading the tea leaves correctly. You can scratch Clarke off Syracuse’s list.
Andre Jackson is an athletic 6-foot-6 wing out Albany who really likes to dunk the ball. He’s both infatuated by it and pretty good at it. Jackson is also Syracuse’s top priority in the class of 2020 and the Orange staff hopped on him early in the recruiting process. He slipped in the recruiting rankings a bit this summer, but the City Rocks weren’t as good as they were in 2018 so make of that what you will. That might actually work out well for Syracuse as to me, it seemed like Jackson was waiting for offers from higher profile programs.
He’s being recruited the hardest by Iowa, Syracuse, UCLA and UConn and has taken visits to all four schools. Iowa is firmly in the mix as Fran McCaffery has had a strong relationship with Jackson from when he used to coach at Siena.
A lot can change in one year, but when I spoke with Jackson last summer he seemed very high on Syracuse. His former City Rocks teammate Joe Girard is of course a rising freshman at SU now, too.
Syracuse will be in the mix until his final decision. I’d still peg SU as the favorite.
If any of you have a Syracuse basketball question that you’d like answered, just tweet me @JamesSzuba. Tweets are best because they can be embedded into the post but for those without a twitter feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.