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Syracuse basketball recruiting: how will Adrian Autry respond to recruit’s change in plans?

5-star Jalil Bethea appears to have eliminated the Orange

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse Head Coach Introductory Press Conference Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Since taking over as Syracuse Orange head coach, Adrian Autry has surpassed the expectations of many in terms of his ability to bring in players.

Autry grabbed JJ Starling, Chance Westry, Kyle Cuffe, Jr. and Naheem McLeod from the portal. He’s got a 2024 class that ranks 7th on On3 and was looking to add another top recruit to his commits- Donnie Freeman and Elijah Moore.

The player that Syracuse has long their sights on was Philadelphia guard Jalil Bethea, a top-10 recruit in the 2024 class. Bethea was scheduled to visit Syracuse this weekend, but after trips to Villanova, Kansas and Miami, he cancelled plans to visit both Syracuse and Alabama. Speculation is that Miami closed the deal with Bethea and will land the 5-star recruit.

It’s a blow to Autry based on the staff having made Bethea a top priority in the class, and now we see how he responds to this missed target. While it’s hard to anticipate what the 2024 roster will need, it seems as though the coaching staff is being realistic about Judah Mintz and JJ Starling turning pro at the end of this season.

The benefit of hitting the transfer portal hard in 2023 is that it could provide the staff a cushion in terms of roster depth for the 24-24 season. Even if the projected starting backcourt is gone, the Orange could still have Quadir Copeland, Justin Taylor, Westry, Cuffe and Moore as options at the guard spots. We’ll keep an eye out to see if Syracuse is able to get back in the mix for some 2024 recruits, or if they decide to mine the portal again next spring.

Syracuse is hosting two 2025 recruits- top 25 forward Sadiq White and guard Nigel James. White is a top-25 recruit in the class and approaching 5-star territory. James, a 6’ point guard who was offered this summer, will be teaming up with Kiyan Anthony at Long Island Lutheran this season. James is currently just inside the top 100 but is rising as his offers pile up.

We know it’s the heart of football season, but we’ll be keeping an eye on recruiting news as it relates to basketball.