We‚Äôre just a few days shy of August, and Syracuse men‚Äôs hoops has still yet to net its first Class of 2023 commit. No matter how good a thing you believe that is to keep the structural integrity of SU‚Äôs high-powered Class of ‚Äò22 intact, the Orange would certainly like to swing a player or two before we inch closer to the Fall.
Despite Syracuse‚Äôs limited number of targets in the upcoming class, the Orange have had to enter battles with some high-powered squads. 4-star guard Elmarko Jackson has an SU offer along with interest from UCLA, Michigan, and Villanova, and 3-star guard Elijah Gertrude is being pursued by both defending national champion Kansas and ACC rival Virginia. There‚Äôs good news on one front, though: the latest development on the recruiting trail for 4-star center JP Estrella.
Estrella, a 6‚Äô11‚Äù big man from Brewster Academy (NH), has been a mainstay name during Syracuse‚Äôs recruiting cycle. Earlier in the month, we noted that Estrella and SU‚Äôs staff have reportedly been in consistent communication, but that Duke‚Äôs entry to the ring for his services clouded the outlook for the Orange. With Estrella‚Äôs planned July 31st visit to Durham now cancelled, it sure seems like SU is a leading candidate to try and secure Estrella‚Äôs commitment.
That being said, Estrella has far more than just a lone offer from Jim Boeheim and company. Programs like Iowa, Tennessee, and Illinois have all put their chips down for Estrella, whose Syracuse visit is set for Aug. 4-6. If things go as planned, it‚Äôll be Estrella‚Äôs second trip to Syracuse – he visited last year as well – and another trip back to the site of his first Division I offer.
The Orange surely remember Duke snatching away top-rated center Kyle Filipowski in last year‚Äôs class, so Estrella‚Äôs trimming of focus to exclude an ACC power and maintain Syracuse on his list is a big development.
With returning center Jesse Edwards heading into his senior year and a swath of inexperience behind him, Estrella possibly joining the ranks up on The Hill would be a boon for the ‘Cuse. That possibility – along with other potentially imminent Class of ‚Äò23 commits – is one to keep your eye on as we flip the calendar over to August.