Syracuse Basketball: New assistant Brenden Straughn is a slam-dunk hire

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

SU Athletics said on Thursday that former George Washington assistant coach Brenden Straughn has come on board with Syracuse basketball in the same role, and this is a tremendous hire to round out the staff of new Orange head coach Adrian Autry.

Straughn, who like Autry has deep and strong recruiting ties in the fertile Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, joins other ‘Cuse assistants Gerry McNamara (associate head coach) and Allen Griffin (assistant coach) on Autry’s bench.

This past season, Straughn was an assistant at George Washington in D.C. In 2022-23, when the Colonials went 16-16 overall, George Washington led the Atlantic 10 Conference in points per game, at 76.3, according to SU Athletics.

"“Brenden is one of the bright young minds in college basketball,” Autry said in a statement posted on “He checks all the boxes of a quality coach with his experience in recruiting, player development, relationship building, and teaching the game of basketball.”"

Syracuse basketball has filled out its coaching staff in hiring D.C.-area native Brenden Straughn.

Brenden Straughn is from New Carrolton, Md., which is part of the D.C. metro area. He played at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., and then at Hood College in Frederick, Md.

Straughn got into coaching as an assistant at Eleanor Roosevelt, where he helped lead the Mustangs to Maryland 4A state championships in 2013 and 2016.

From there, Brenden Straughn spent a handful of years coaching in grassroots basketball. He was an assistant and later associate head coach for one of the best AAU squads nationwide, the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league.

Autry, by the way, also served as a coach of the Team Takeover program a while back, when it was known as Triple Threat. Straughn played a key role in guiding Team Takeover to the 2017 Peach Jam finals as well as the 2018 Peach Jam title.

During his time with Team Takeover, per SU Athletics, he helped develop five players who earned McDonald’s All-American honors, along with 70 players in Division I hoops.

At the collegiate level, Brenden Straughn has served as an assistant at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia, which is also an Atlantic 10 member, and then George Washington.

In the statement, Straughn said in part, “The standard and storied tradition of the Syracuse basketball program will continue to attract the best and brightest young men from across the country.”

With Autry at the helm and Brenden Straughn now an assistant coach, the Orange should absolutely fare well in recruiting high-school prospects from the D.C. region.

To that end, Syracuse basketball is reportedly recruiting 2024 four-star big man Donnie Freeman hard these days. The 6-foot-9 Freeman is a standout junior at St. John’s College High School in Washington and also suits up for Team Takeover.

Freeman, who is rated in the top 30 overall, in the top five at power forward and No. 1 in D.C. within the 2024 cycle per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, recently told SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister that he is eyeing an official visit to the Hill in the near future.

Sophomore forward Benny Williams is returning for his junior year with the ‘Cuse, and he is an alumnus of the Team Takeover program. Freshman wing Justin Taylor also competed for Team Takeover while in high school.

For what it’s worth, freshman point guard Judah Mintz and freshman forward Maliq Brown also have ties to the Washington, D.C., market dating back to their high-school days. Not too long ago, Mintz said that he would test the 2023 NBA Draft waters while maintaining his college eligibility.

I’m incredibly excited that Brenden Straughn is a new assistant coach at Syracuse basketball. His track record of player development and recruiting is stellar. Orange Nation welcomes you to Central New York, Brenden!

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