Syracuse Basketball: Big Ten competition grows for 4-star J.J. Starling

Central New York native J.J. Starling, a 2022 four-star point guard, recently said that he is in consistent communication with the Syracuse basketball program, which is terrific to hear.

At the same time, competition for the elite guard continues to grow. The latest scholarship offer sent his way came from Big Ten Conference member Maryland, according to Starling’s bio on the 247Sports Web site.

That pushes the total number of offers to Starling to around 15 at this juncture, per a review of various recruiting services. And given how the 6-foot-3 Starling played for the La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., during his junior season, I expect many more high-major offers to arrive for him.

Maryland competes in the rugged Big Ten, which was a juggernaut in the 2020-21 stanza. In recent years, the Terrapins have collected multiple terms of at least 24 victories and gone to the NCAA Tournament a handful of times.

Additionally, throughout the team’s history, Maryland has recruited and developed a bunch of excellent guards and wings, some of whom went on to the professional ranks. Guys like Juan Dixon, Steve Blake and Steve Francis come to mind.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Terrapins, a squad that captured the 2002 Big Dance, become a factor in Starling’s recruitment moving forward.

Competition is intense for Syracuse basketball four-star prospect J.J. Starling.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff got in early on with Starling, offering him a scholarship back in August of 2019. Other offers include from teams such as Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Nate Oats-led Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Miami, St. John’s, Connecticut, Marquette, Providence, Penn State and Wake Forest.

On the AAU circuit, Starling suits up for the Albany City Rocks, whose alumni include current Orange guards Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard III and Symir Torrence, who recently transferred to Syracuse basketball from Marquette.

Given these AAU ties, and that Starling formerly starred at Charles W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., he is likely familiar with the ‘Cuse program.

I’m hopeful that this helps the Orange ultimately win out in the recruiting battle for Starling, who is ranked in the top-60 overall in the 2022 cycle by several recruiting Web sites.

We’ll keep a watchful eye out to see what other offers pour in for Starling in the near future, and also whether he elects to make a trip to Syracuse basketball for one of his five NCAA-allowed official visits.