In the midst of all the talk about what Syracuse football could pull off Thursday and what all SU men’s basketball is doing wrong, it’s easy to forget that the recruiting cycle never sleeps – particularly for Jim Boeheim and company. Though his team is on a holiday break, ‘Cuse hoops had its world shaken yesterday by an unprecedented offer on the recruiting trail.
After lulling its fans to sleep with exactly zero commits in the Class of 2023, SU is evidently sculpting its Class of ‘24 in familiar fashion. The Orange have kicked the tires on some of the nation’s best talent like guard Elijah Moore, forward Donnie Freeman, and center Yves Missi. As of right now, progress toward netting any of those names has been quiet – but the battle for star point guard Elliot Cadeau just heated up substantially, thanks to one influential Central New York native.
Yesterday, it was revealed that Adam Weitsman, a recycling and scrap metal magnate notable for frequently inviting celebrities to sit courtside at SU basketball games, offered a “three-year, seven-figure” NIL deal to Cadeau. According to Weitsman, the offer would involve Cadeau in “non-profit, civic and philanthropic efforts” in and around Syracuse. Though it’s been explicitly stated by Weitsman that he “does not discuss” SU basketball or collegiate programs with Cadeau and his family, it’s clear that the intent is to try and sweeten the pot for Cadeau if he does choose to come to the Salt City. In the meantime, Cadeau has narrowed his list of potential suitors to six schools (including Syracuse) and plans to choose one of them on December 28th.
If Cadeau does choose Syracuse, Weitsman’s deal won’t be the only reason why, but it’s understandable that a guarantee of financial opportunity is a boon for any player seeking to capitalize on their likeness. Cadeau is a 6’1”, 165-pound guard out of Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, currently ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s top guard in the Class of 2024, and listed as its No. 10 overall prospect. For his part, Jim Boeheim noted early on this season that the team’s focus was very much on the Class of 2024 and a vision that could very well include Cadeau.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if we didn’t get anybody this year [in the Class of 2023]. We’re focused mostly on ‘24.” (Jim Boeheim, 11/1/22)
Also noteworthy is Boeheim’s (limited) endorsement of NIL as a recruiting tool. When Syracuse’s first “NIL collective” formed back in August, Boeheim made a direct appeal to fans that the new creation was “your chance to help recruiting”. Though Adam Weitsman isn’t just any fan, it seems that SU is at least involved in the NIL realm. That’s big news considering the program’s loss of top prospect Kamari Lands back in 2021, who noticed the absence of NIL in his recruiting pitch and sought to be “recruited that way”. Whether you like it or not, it’s a must these days for any serious program to entice prospects.
If Cadeau chooses to don Orange, his presence would send shockwaves into an SU recruiting infrastructure that has struggled to secure national talent and develop a few of its recent additions. We’ll find out shortly just how much sway Syracuse and its devoted financial benefactors still have on top talent.