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As recently as a few weeks ago, Syracuse University basketball fans were growing more and more concerned about the direction of the program’s recruiting after the decision by Tyus Battle to commit to Michigan over the Orange. Some high quality backup plans began to emerge, particularly elite guard prospect Kobi Simmons, while fellow Georgia native Alterique Gilbert quickly became another target – albeit one many fans weren’t quite as excited about due to his relative under the radar profile.

Well, that’s no longer the case. Gilbert has become one of the fastest rising prospects in America over the spring and early summer, and in the most recent ESPN Top 100 rankings he slides in at No. 23 – five spots ahead of Battle. Suddenly, the guy who was thought to be the backup to the backup is quickly becoming one of the hottest commodities in men’s basketball recruiting.

With lightning quickness and a 6-foot-1 frame, he’s reminding a lot of people of former Orange point guard Jonny Flynn. Syracuse is considered one of the favorites to land Gilbert, who has a top five that consists of the Orange, Connecticut, Texas, Louisville, and Illinois. The general feeling is that this could wind up being a battle between Jim Boeheim and his old protege Rick Pitino to land the services of the talented, tenacious point guard.

Other noteworthy items in the top 100  are Simmons checking in at No. 6 and Syracuse commit Matthew Moyer ranking No. 51 overall. Kevin Huerter, the talented shooter from upstate New York, checks in at No. 73 overall.

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