Orange nixed from contention for 4-star point guard

Elmarko Jackson, a fast-rising point guard in the rising-senior class who was offered a scholarship from Syracuse basketball coaches this spring, has eliminated the Orange in his recruiting process.

The 6-foot-4 Jackson, who has spoken highly of the ‘Cuse program and even noted in some prior interviews that he was eyeing a possible official visit to the Hill, disclosed his top-11 finalists on social media, and the Orange didn’t ‘t make the cut.

We recently opined that we weren’t all that optimistic Syracuse basketball would be included when the four-star Jackson trimmed his list of remaining contenders.

His top 11, by the way, features 2022 national champion Kansas, Villanova, Michigan, UCLA, Texas, Maryland, VCU and four fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squads – Virginia, Louisville, Miami and Notre Dame.

First and foremost, we’re wishing Elmarko Jackson nothing but success wherever he lands in college. His group of finalists is impressive, and we have no doubt that he will shine at the collegiate level.

Syracuse basketball offered four-star point guard Elmarko Jackson in April.

In recent weeks, we came across numerous interviews given by Jackson, and articles about him from journalists and recruiting analysts, that suggested the Orange may have been on the outside looking in for Jackson.

Now, a couple of points here. I do not know if Jackson lost interest in Syracuse basketball, if the Orange coaching staff elected to pursue other options, or if both sides mutually decided to move on.

What I can say is that ever since the ‘Cuse had offered him, Jackson had said on numerous occasions that Orange head coach Jim Boeheim and his assistants were prioritizing him, and that they watched a lot of his games when Jackson competed this spring and summer during NCAA live periods on the AAU circuit.

Jackson, as a member of the Delaware-based WE R1 in the Under Armour Association league, was one of the best all-around performers in grassroots basketball in recent months.

The praise that he earned from national recruiting analysts and scouts alike helped fuel a huge rankings bump from On3, which recently put Jackson into the top-25 overall within the 2023 class.

That, simultaneously, also resulted in his offer sheet exploding to around 30, with some heavyweight programs getting formally into the mix for Jackson after he was offered by the ‘Cuse.

Perhaps Jackson just liked some of his other suitors better. Maybe Syracuse basketball coaches backed off. It’s important to note that the Orange is apparently still in pursuit of several other 2023 guards, and on the current ‘Cuse roster are two freshmen who play Jackson’s position.

Undeniably, I’m bummed that Syracuse basketball is no longer a contender for Jackson, who is an elite talent. A recent 247Sports article, for one, discussed 2023 prospects who could potentially climb further up the national ratings and make a case for the No. 1 spot, and Jackson’s name was mentioned.

At the time that I penned this column, both the industry-generated 247Sports Composite and the industry-generated On3 Consensus had placed him within the top-100 across the country in his class.

He will spend his senior year at the South Kent School in South Kent, Conn. Best of luck, Elmarco!

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