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Syracuse Basketball: SU has one of nation’s highest-rated transfer classes

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

Syracuse basketball scored a massive recruiting win under new head coach Adrian Autry last month when the Orange picked up a commitment from Central New York native J.J. Starling.

The 6-foot-4 Starling, a freshman guard, said in March that he would transfer from Notre Dame to the ‘Cuse, and that development was eagerly welcomed by Syracuse basketball fans.

In the recently completed 2022-23 season, Starling averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for the Fighting Irish. He was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Freshman team in 2022-23.

Coming out of the powerhouse La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., as a member of the 2022 recruiting cycle, Starling was a five-star, top-25 national prospect in that class.

He had the Orange in his top five before selecting Notre Dame, but now Starling is coming home. Prior to heading to La Lumiere, he was a star for Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y.

Buoyed by commit  J.J. Starling, Syracuse basketball has a top-rated transfer class.

In recent weeks, recruiting services have been unveiling their national ratings of the best transfers out there this off-season, and Starling is routinely making the top five. Rivals.com, in its initial list not too long ago, put him at No. 1 nationally.

To that end, this past Wednesday, Brad Crawford of 247Sports published an article where he ranked the top-10 transfer classes at this juncture. Naturally, such ratings will ebb and flow, as more transfers commit to new schools before the current transfer-portal window closes on May 11.

That being said, in his rankings, Crawford placed Syracuse basketball at No. 3 nationwide, which is awesome. The only two squads ahead of the Orange were South Carolina, at No. 2, and West Virginia, at No. 1.

Now, if the ‘Cuse doesn’t land any additional transfers this off-season, then it will likely fall in rankings from Crawford and other media members. We’ll just have to wait and see whether Syracuse basketball coaches pick up other transfers.

I did note, not too long ago, that the Orange has reached out to Chance Westry, a former Syracuse basketball recruiting target in the 2022 class who has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal after his freshman season at Auburn.

Westry, a 6-foot-6 guard from Harrisburg, Pa., is expecting to take a redshirt for the 2022-23 campaign after dealing with an injury, according to reports.

A four-star, top-40 player in the 2022 cycle coming out of the juggernaut AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Ariz., Westry was offered a scholarship by the ‘Cuse in the summer of 2019 and did take an official visit to the Orange. He had Syracuse basketball in his initial top 10 before committing to Auburn.

I’ll certainly monitor whether the ‘Cuse coaching staff ends up showing interest in other college players who are in the transfer portal. For Syracuse basketball to be rated so high in Crawford’s rankings speaks to the talent and potential of J.J. Starling, and I’m pumped to see him don an Orange uniform during the 2023-24 term.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 4-star priority Jalil Bethea erupts in rankings again. dark