Syracuse, NY — Elijah Moore, one of the top shooters in the Class of 2024, verbally committed to play basketball at Syracuse during a ceremony in the Bronx on Saturday.
Moore, listed on recruiting websites as a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, picked the Orange over a list of finalists that included Oklahoma State, Alabama, Arkansas and Miami. He is listed as the No. 97 recruit in the Class of 2024 in 247 Sports’ composite rankings and ranked as high as No. 73 in 247 Sports’ individual rankings.
Sitting alongside his father and younger sister at a local middle school, behind a podium that included hats from all five teams, Moore unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a Syracuse T-shirt.
Moore’s commitment is especially important to the Orange given the team’s lack of commitments in the Class of 2023.
It provides a positive indication that SU can still continue to recruit elite players despite the uncertainty of Jim Boeheim’s retirement date. Boeheim has said there is an “iron-clad plan” regarding his eventual retirement but declined to provide details.
Syracuse does not currently have any commitments in the Class of 2023. Boeheim has cited the six talented freshmen recruited in the Class of 2022 and the lack of obvious playing time as a major reason for the lack of recruiting success in 2023.
Syracuse has had a recruiting class without a single high school player only once, although the ability of teams to use the transfer portal makes it easier — and in some cases preferable — for schools to avoid relying too much on high school recruiting.
The commitment also provides a positive indication about the entrance of SU booster Adam Weitsman into the NIL arms race.
Moore is the first recruit to commit to the Orange since Weitsman began offering NIL agreements to top prospects. Moore is one of four high school prospects that Weitsman currently has NIL offers out to. He has not disclosed the terms of those deals.
Weitsman made a heavy push for Moore this week, flying him in with a pair of famous rappers to talk about NIL during the Orange’s game against North Carolina. Weitsman said the effort fell within guidelines prohibiting boosters from being involved in recruiting because they did not talk about basketball or Moore’s recruitment.
Weitsman said he entered the NIL space because the Syracuse area did not have a program that could match other elite college programs. He plans to pay athletes to perform charity work in Central New York and the Southern Tier. He said this avoids the NCAA’s prohibition on pay-for-play because the deal does not require the athletes to compete for a specific school.
Weitsman, who said he did not know what school Moore would pick until he announced it on a You Tube live stream, said a contract with Moore has not been signed yet. He said on Saturday afternoon that he had not talked with the prospect since his verbal commitment.
Weitman said he had an understanding with Moore’s family that, if the high school junior picked Syracuse, he planned to accept the offer. He said the offer is a multi-year agreement worth six figures, with incentives that could bring it to seven figures. He declined to provide more details on the terms.
Moore is averaging 18.5 points per game as a junior at Cardinal Hayes, a powerhouse program in the Bronx best known as the home of Jamal Mashburn.
Moore’s commitment is not binding until he signs a National Letter of Intent. NCAA rules prohibit Syracuse coaches from commenting publicly on Moore until after a letter of intent is received.
Weitsman said he was first told about Moore’s potential by Jack Overdyk, a former Syracuse team manager who is currently an agent for Roc Nation. He is also the son of former Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
Weitsman said he believes that Moore has five-star abilities hidden by a four-star ranking and that he will climb up recruiting lists as the rest of his career plays out. He is an exceptional shooter who is focused on growing his other talents. Weitsman cited Moore’s humble nature and work ethic as additional reasons for his interest.
Moore and his father are often in the gym by 5:30 am, helping him hone his shooting from particular spots on the floor and work on other aspects of his game. His father said they have been working diligently on basketball since Elijah was 6 or 7 years old.
Syracuse guards Joe Girard III and Symir Torrence will have used up all their eligibility before the 2024 season, while the returning guards could include Judah Mintz, Justin Taylor and Quadir Copeland.
The Orange do not currently have any commitments in the Class of 2023, although they are hosting small forward Marcus Adams for an official visit on Monday. Sports Illustrated Syracuse has reported that Adams is considering reclassifying into the Class of 2023.
Weitsman said he has NIL offers out to Adams, as well as Class of 2024 prospects Boogie Fland and Jalil Bethea.
Contact Chris Carlson anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-382-7932
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