Syracuse basketball likely to be in the running as 4-star big man will knock out finalists

Matthew Gilhool, a four-star big man from the Philadelphia area who is projected to be a 2025 prospect, will cut down the list of candidates still in the running for his job early next week, and I'm cautiously optimistic that Syracuse's basketball players will make it happen.

In a post on his X-page, the talented 6-foot-1 power forward/center wrote, “I'm narrowing down my list of schools and will announce the finalists on Monday, July 8th.”

I'm not sure how many finalists Gilhool will ultimately have, but I'm well placed to have the Orange still in the running if he's crossed off his list.

Gilhool, who is ranked among the top 80 prospects in the country and the top 20 power forwards/centers according to numerous recruiting services, received a scholarship offer from the Syracuse basketball team in late August of last year, around the time he unofficially visited the 'Cuse for the team's annual Elite Camp.

As far as I know, Gilhool's only official visit to date has been to Capitol Hill, which was in late September 2023. He also made an unofficial visit to Orange Hill at the end of February this year, on Jim Boeheim Day.

Gilhool, a standout rising senior at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, has received more than two dozen offers during his recruitment, with some of his most recent offers coming from teams such as VCU, Saint Louis, Georgia, Georgia Tech and LSU.

Former 'Cuse assistant head coach Gerry McNamara, who left this spring to become head coach at Siena, was the Orange's primary recruiter for Gilhool. Although GMac is no longer on the Syracuse basketball staff, a recent post on X by 247Sports national analyst/scout Brandon Jenkins said Gilhool has been hearing the most about 'Cuse, Alabama, Michigan and Penn State lately.

Last weekend, during an NCAA live period where junior players were preparing for their high school programs, Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry was on hand for Gilhool at the DMV Live show in the Washington, DC area, according to On3's leading national analyst/scout Jamie Shaw.

Shaw said in a post on X that in addition to Autry, coaches from schools such as LSU, Georgia and Alabama, to name a few, were on hand for Gilhool at DMV Live.

When I wrote this article on Wednesday, according to On3's recruiting prediction engine, the Orange were leading the pack for Gilhool, followed by Penn State at No. 2. The 'Cuse's lead is likely due in part to the fact that the Syracuse basketball team was his only official visit to date.

Penn State, an in-state school for Gilhool, is likely one of the Orange's biggest threats that could ultimately prevail for Gilhool. The Nittany Lions extended him an offer more than two years ago, according to Verbal Commits, and Gilhool has taken unofficial visits to Penn State, according to recruiting services.

If I had to guess, I'd assume that both Syracuse basketball and Penn State will be among Gilhool's finalists, which will be announced next Monday. But he has plenty of other impressive suitors, so we'll wait and see how this all plays out; Gilhool's recruiting process could take a while.

This spring and summer, he competed for the 17U squad of Philadelphia-based Team Final in Nike's EYBL league, where one of his teammates was 2025 4-star combo guard Jerry Easter II, who has an offer from the 'Cuse.

According to the EYBL website, Team Final will compete in a playoff game on Friday, July 12, for a possible spot in the main round of this year's Peach Jam, which will be held July 13-21 in North Augusta, SC.

According to this recruiting calendar, there are two NCAA live periods during the Peach Jam. Assuming Syracuse Basketball is named a finalist for Gilhool, I would expect the Syracuse basketball team to be on hand for him and the team finals at the Peach Jam.

While the Orange has Gilhool in its sights, the 'Cuse team offered a scholarship to 2025 4-star big man Asher Elson of South Shore High School in Brooklyn, NY in mid-April. Then in early June, Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to 2025 5-star big man Chris Cenac Jr., who will spend his final season at the high-powered Link Academy in Branson, Missouri.

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