Saturday, July 13, 2024

Syracuse Basketball: 5-stars Jordan Smith, Chris Cenac win FIBA World Cup gold medal

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In recent days, the USA Basketball U17 national team, whose roster includes two Syracuse basketball five-star recruits, has dominated the competition at the 2024 FIBA World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.

On Sunday, in the final game of this international event, the USA squad continued that trend, crushing Italy, 129-88, to claim the gold medal. By extension, per this article on the FIBA U17 World Cup Web site, USA Basketball improved its all-time record at this event to 51-0 since 2010.

Team USA has claimed the gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Cup a spectacular seven straight times. Check this out: at the 2024 edition of this event, the team’s average margin of victory was an astounding 64.3 points, the highest-ever for USA Basketball at the FIBA U17 World Cup.

First and foremost, a huge congrats to the USA Basketball U17 national team. On the roster were two five-star prospects who hold scholarship offers from the ‘Cuse: 2026 shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr. and 2025 big man Chris Cenac Jr.

The 6-foot-3 Smith, a standout rising junior at the powerhouse St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., was offered by the Orange in early May of 2023. He is a top-10 national prospect in his class.

In early June, the 6-foot-10 Cenac, a fast-rising power forward/center, said that he had picked up an offer from the ‘Cuse. He, too, is a top-10 overall player in his cycle. Not too long ago, Cenac said that he would spend his senior season at the juggernaut Link Academy in Branson, Mo.

Let’s get back to the FIBA U17 World Cup. As I noted in other recent columns, per analysts, the Syracuse basketball staff had been in attendance at this event to watch Smith, Cenac and perhaps other players on Team USA.

To that end, on July 6, Orange assistant coach Brenden Straughn had a post on his X page from Istanbul, so he was clearly on hand for the FIBA U17 World Cup.

Per a box score from the championship game on Sunday, in that big win over Italy, Smith tallied five points, two rebounds and one assist. Cenac, meanwhile, produced eight points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.

For the entire 2024 FIBA U17 World Cup, Smith averaged 14.9 minutes, 5.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks per affair. Cenac, throughout the event, averaged 11.4 minutes, 8.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

Next. Expert praises Syracuse basketball for aggressive, consistent 2025 recruiting efforts. Expert praises Syracuse basketball for aggressive, consistent 2025 recruiting efforts. dark

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