We’re just a few days shy of August, and Syracuse men’s 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’s high-powered Class of ‘22 intact, the Orange would certainly like to swing a player or two before we inch closer to the Fall.
Despite Syracuse’s 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’s good news on one front, though: the latest development on the recruiting trail for 4-star center JP Estrella.
Estrella, a 6’11” big man from Brewster Academy (NH), has been a mainstay name during Syracuse’s recruiting cycle. Earlier in the month, we noted that Estrella and SU’s staff have reportedly been in consistent communication, but that Duke’s entry to the ring for his services clouded the outlook for the Orange. With Estrella’s planned July 31st visit to Durham now cancelled, it sure seems like SU is a leading candidate to try and secure Estrella’s 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’ll be Estrella’s 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’s class, so Estrella’s 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 ‘23 commits – is one to keep your eye on as we flip the calendar over to August.