The first of two NCAA live periods in July have been transpiring in grassroots basketball over the past few days, and two of the hottest players on the AAU circuit also happen to be a pair of Syracuse basketball priority recruiting targets.
The Under Armor Association is holding games during its latest stop in Cartersville, Ga. Orange recruits Joseph Estrella, a 2023 four-star big man, and Elmarko Jackson, a 2023 four-star point guard, both suit up in the Under Armor Association league.
The 6-foot-11 Estrella competes for one of the country’s best AAU squads this spring and early summer, the New England-based Middlesex Magic. The 6-foot-4 Jackson, meanwhile, is a member of the Delaware-based WE R1.
Since this live period got underway, I’ve come across a ton of articles and comments from national recruiting analysts and scouts that speak to Estrella and Jackson drawing big crowds of college coaches, while putting up some terrific numbers for their respective AAU teams.
Syracuse basketball has a huge challenge trying to prevail for four-stars Joseph Estrella and Elmarko Jackson.
I have no inside information, but if I were to venture a guess, I don’t think the ‘Cuse is going to win out for Estrella, who will spend his senior season at the Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH
Duke is getting a lot of analyst buzz lately in Estrella’s recruitment. While he does hear regularly from Syracuse basketball, he also hears from Kansas and other suitors a lot, too.
As we noted in another recent column, Estrella is reportedly eyeing a potential official visit to the Hill, but if he doesn’t end up taking one to the Orange, I feel like he will ultimately pick another collegiate destination.
Based on his performances in grassroots basketball and at other recent events, Estrella has vaulted his way up to the top-25 overall, per one recruiting service.
According to various analysts, during this live period in Cartersville, coaches from the ‘cuseDuke, Illinois, Tennessee, Marquette, Michigan, Iowa, UConn, Iona, Georgia Tech, Davidson, Louisville and Stanford, among others, have watched Estrella in person.
Analysts have noted of late that Syracuse basketball coaches have been prioritizing Jacksonwho will play his senior year at the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn.
Similar to Estrella, though, I think it’s paramount that the Orange gets Jackson to Central New York for an official visit.
His offer sheet has grown considerably of late, with relatively new scholarship offers from the likes of Villanova, Kansas, Michigan, Texas and Indiana.
Amid the Under Armor Association’s current slate of contests, Jackson has drawn a flood of coaches to his encounters as wellincluding from Virginia, Maryland, Villanova, Alabama, Auburn, Miami, VCU and many, many more.
I haven’t come across a story yet regarding ‘Cuse coaches watching Jackson in person, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t – or won’t. Experts say that both Jackson and Estrella are performing at a stand-out level near Atlanta.