Syracuse Basketball: Adrian Autry is not messing around on recruiting trail

Syracuse basketball, Adrian Autry (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Adrian Autry (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

It has only been a short period of time since Adrian Autry replaced legendary Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim as the head coach of Syracuse basketball. And Autry already is doing a lot of positive things on the recruiting trail, much to the delight of Orange hoops fans.

About two weeks ago, Autry scored a major recruiting win when Central New York native J.J. Starling said he would transfer from Notre Dame to Syracuse basketball after his freshman season with the Fighting Irish.

Starling, a talented guard who was a 2022 five-star prospect, cited his strong relationship with Adrian Autry as a major reason why he elected to return home to the Orange. For Autry to land Starling, one of the top transfers nationwide, immediately after he entered the NCAA’s transfer portal is tremendous.

But there’s more. Adrian Autry and his stellar assistants, Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin, have been quite active over the past few weeks as it pertains to high-school players in the 2024 recruiting cycle, and that’s super exciting and refreshing.

New Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry is hard at work in the recruiting arena.

Since Autry was named the ‘Cuse head coach around three weeks ago, he and his assistants have gone to high-school games of several priority recruits in the junior class, such as four-star guard Jalil Bethea and four-star big man Thomas Sorber.

In fact, the Syracuse basketball coaching staff watched the 6-foot-4 Bethea twice as he competed for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pa., in the team’s 2023 Pennsylvania state tournament.

The Orange checked out the 6-foot-9 Sorber as well. The power forward/center plays for Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia. Both Archbishop Wood and Archbishop Ryan reached the state semifinals in Pennsylvania.

Sorber took an unofficial visit to the Hill last August, while Bethea made an official visit to the ‘Cuse in October of 2022.

Earlier in March, Adrian Autry and his assistants were in attendance during a post-season game for 2024 five-star point guard Boogie Fland, who is a standout junior at Archbishop Stepinac High School from White Plains, N.Y.

The 6-foot-3 Fland, offered a scholarship by the Orange this past January, holds nearly 30 offers, so competition is steep.

That being said, a national recruiting analyst told me last month that Syracuse basketball coaches were recruiting Fland hard, and the key for the ‘Cuse coaching staff here is to get him on campus for a visit in the future.

When the Orange watched Fland earlier this month, Syracuse basketball coaches were also in attendance for 2024 four-star SG commit Elijah Moore out of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, N.Y.

After news broke that Adrian Autry would replace Jim Boeheim as the team’s head coach, media reports said that even with the change at the top of the ‘Cuse, Moore remained verbally committed to Syracuse basketball.

Last but certainly not least, this past Friday, Adrian Autry traveled to St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., to meet with 2024 four-star big man Donnie Freeman, according to reports from recruiting/scouting director Houston Wilson and SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister.

The 6-foot-9 Freeman, offered a scholarship by the Orange in August of 2021, is eyeing a potential official visit to the ‘Cuse at some point in April, according to McAllister.

Given some of the Orange’s sup-par recruiting outcomes in recent years under Boeheim (I mean no disrespect here), it’s gratifying to see what Adrian Autry is up to on the recruiting trail just three weeks into his tenure as the Syracuse basketball head coach.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Who is Adrian Autry? A deep dive on new head coach. dark