Syracuse Basketball: A Big East battle for Auburn transfer Chance Westry

Syracuse basketball, Chance Westry (Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Chance Westry (Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports) /

If Syracuse basketball ends up being a significant contender in the recruitment of Auburn transfer Chance Westry, the Orange could find itself in an old-school Big East Conference clash for the freshman guard and former ‘Cuse 2022 target.

I confirmed not too long ago that the Orange coaching staff has reached out to the 6-foot-6 Westry, who recently entered the NCAA’s transfer portal and is expected to take a redshirt for the 2022-23 campaign after dealing with an injury as a freshman for the Tigers in the Southeastern Conference.

And 247Sports, not too long ago, listed a bunch of college squads, including the ‘Cuse, that reportedly have reached out to Chance Westry, who is rated as a top-65 transfer nationwide, per several recruiting services.

However, on Friday, CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein published an interesting tweet, saying that Westry is receiving interest from Syracuse basketball, St. John’s, Penn State, Creighton and Seton Hall.

Certainly, the list of suitors for Chance Westry could ebb, flow and change rapidly. As it stands now, though, it appears that Orange coaches may be up against several Big East foes in his recruitment.

Syracuse basketball recruited Chance Westry hard a few years ago.

Westry, who has four years of eligibility remaining, is from Harrisburg, Pa. He was a four-star, top-40 national prospect in the 2022 cycle coming out of the powerhouse AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Ariz.

Syracuse basketball coaches got involved in his recruiting process early on, offering a scholarship to Chance Westry in the summer of 2019.  There was some analyst “buzz” suggesting the Orange may have had strong momentum with Westry at some point in his recruitment.

He did take an official visit to the Hill and had the ‘Cuse in his initial top 10 before committing to Auburn in late October of 2021. But with the Tigers in his freshman term during 2022-23, Chance Westry only appeared in 11 games and averaged just 9.3 minutes per contest.

This list noted by Rothstein is intriguing. Creighton, Seton Hall and St. John’s are all in the Big East, while the Orange is a former Big East member and is in the Atlantic Coast Conference these days.

Penn State, out of the Big Ten Conference, is an in-state college squad for Westry, only being about 90 miles from Harrisburg. The Nittany Lions, which won a 2023 NCAA Tournament game, have a new head coach in former VCU boss Mike Rhoades.

I detailed in a column not too long ago that former Syracuse basketball assistant and two-time national champion Rick Pitino will be a formidable recruiting foe for the Orange as the new head coach at St. John’s, particularly as it relates to players in New York City, the entire Empire State and throughout the Northeast.

Former Syracuse basketball point guard Kadary Richmond was a junior at Seton Hall in 2022-23. And Creighton, which geographically is the furthest away from Westry’s hometown, got to the 2023 Big Dance’s Elite Eight.

The Bluejays’ 2022-23 roster has included former Orange recruit Arthur Kaluma, a forward who put forth a nice sophomore season at Creighton.

All of these suitors are good ones for Chance Westry. I believe Syracuse basketball coaches, if they’re heavily focused on winning out here, have a solid shot to land him.

What amount of playing time the Orange coaching staff will likely be able to offer Westry in 2023-24, I imagine, will prove a huge factor here. From a guard perspective, seniors Joe Girard III and Symir Torrence are in the transfer portal.

Girard is also testing the NBA Draft waters while maintaining his collegiate eligibility. So, too, is freshman Judah Mintz. The ‘Cuse does have a commitment from Notre Dame transfer and Central New York native J.J. Starling, a freshman combo guard.

On the wing at forward, freshman Chris Bell is coming back, as is sophomore Benny Williams. We’re still waiting on the official word, either way, from several other guards/wings on the Syracuse basketball 2022-23 roster as to what their future plans are.

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