Syracuse Basketball: Former 4-star commit, 5-star targets in transfer portal

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Four highly ranked players coming out of high school who had former Syracuse basketball recruiting connections are entering the NCAA’s transfer portal.

As the 2023 Big Dance gets underway, names are already going into the portal. After this spring’s NCAA Tournament culminates in early April and the 2022-23 season is officially over, I imagine that the floodgates will open as it pertains to the portal.

But even for now, a couple of players who are familiar to Orange hoops recruiting enthusiasts are in the portal, according to various media reports.

Those in the portal, per social media posts in the last few days, include J.J. Starling, Kamari Lands, Elijah Fisher and Skyy Clark.

Starling, Fisher and Clark are former recruiting targets of the ‘Cuse. Lands at one time was verbally committed to the Orange.

I’ll monitor whether Syracuse basketball ends up pursuing any of these talented players.

The Web site Verbal Commits said on Twitter that the 6-foot-4 Starling has entered the portal.

Starling, a Central New York native, was a five-star, top-25 prospect in the 2022 class. He had Syracuse basketball in his top five before picking Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish went a disappointing 11-21 in 2022-23. Long-time head coach Mike Brey is moving on. This season, Starling averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest.

According to On3 national analyst Joe Tipton, the 6-foot-8 Lands is entering the portal after his freshman campaign at Louisville.

Lands was a four-star wing and a top-70 prospect in the 2022 class. He originally gave a verbal commitment to the ‘Cuse but ended up reopening his recruitment in August of 2021, later pledging to Louisville.

Lands, during the 2022-23 stanza with the Cardinals, a group that posted an awful 4-28 mark, averaged 5.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists per affair.

Fisher was initially in the 2023 class but ended up committing to Texas Tech and moving up to the 2022 cycle. He held a Syracuse basketball offer.

Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams resigned a few days ago. Fisher, a 6-foot-6 guard from Canada, was a four-star, top-50 player in the 2022 class.

Fisher, for the Red Raiders (16-16) in 2022-23, averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Tipton also reported that Fisher is entering the portal.

Finally, Tipton noted on Twitter that the 6-foot-3 Clark plans to enter the portal. He was a freshman guard at Illinois but stepped away from the team in January for personal reasons, according to Tipton.

Clark, a four-star, top-40 prospect in the 2022 cycle, originally gave a verbal commitment to Kentucky but then reopened his recruiting process back up.

When that occurred, media reports said that Syracuse basketball coaches made contact with Clark. He ended up committing to Illinois, which is 20-12 in 2022-23 and on Sunday night earned a No. 9 seed in the upcoming March Madness.

For the Fighting Illini, Clark averaged 7.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest.

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