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JP Estrella Could be the First Domino in the Future of SU Basketball

Photo courtesy of zagsblog.com

The Fizz has devoted lots of characters talking about JP Estrella over the last couple of weeks. It’s been written about, talked about on Fizz Five, and tweeted about. But, the class of 2023 can be a bridge class for Syracuse, and build on what was started in 2022.

Last year’s cycle, combined with Benny Williams coming in solo in 2021, may just have been the tip of the iceberg in SU getting regularly back within the top-100 to get four-star recruits. Williams was a four-star, Mintz, Taylor, and Bunch were four-stars. If Jim Boeheim and the Orange can continuously get multiple four-stars in every class, that will make a huge difference on the court.

Look back from 2016-2020. According to 247 Sports, Syracuse only reeled in only nine four-stars in those five classes. Even while that number may seem good on the surface, six of them played two or fewer seasons for the Orange before transferring. Those decisions to leave usually have not worked out for those players either.

So, not only was talent not coming into the program, the little talent that was either did not live up to their potential, or left. So, going back to Estrella, he is the first player SU has put a lot of effort into recruiting in 2023. He’s taken multiple visits, and the Orange staff has clearly made him a top priority because they know how important getting this kind of player in the program is.

Despite the center room already having three guys in it right now, it is still unclear if Mounir Hima and Peter Carey can start in the ACC, and Estrella said after his visit that Boeheim told him he would play right away. To start the class with a four-star would be a huge boost for Syracuse recruiting in the present and future.

That would bring the count to five 4-stars over the past three cycles, with potential for more in 2023 like Reid Ducharme who Estrella has mentioned as someone Boeheim wants to pair him with. The duo is expected to be teammates this season at Brewster Academy, which has produced many Syracuse players over the past decade. 

Multiple four-stars, at least, every year was the norm for Jim Boeheim and Syracuse’s recruiting in the 2000s and early 2010s, and while obviously the scandal and sanctions hurt significantly, those are over, and the program can get back to where it was before.

That will obviously be difficult in a conference where you will never be bigger than Duke, North Carolina, and probably Virginia in terms of popularity, and who knows if the ACC will still exist in the next couple of years with the directions conferences are going. But, thinking about the present, JP Estrella is a necessity for Syracuse to land and could make a huge impact on the future of the program.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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