Syracuse Basketball: Adrian Autry and staff getting after it on recruiting trail

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

It remains to be seen how new Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry will fare on the court in his first season as the team’s boss, but no one can say that he isn’t putting in the work on the recruiting trail.

In March, Autry was named the new head coach of the ‘Cuse, replacing the legendary Hall of Famer, Jim Boeheim.

This past season and in other recent terms, a frequent gripe among some of my fellow Orange fans, when I would connect with them on social media and in chat rooms, was that they didn’t think Boeheim was as active on the recruiting trail as these fans hoped he would be.

Whether that was actually the case or not, I’ll leave that to the side for now. But fewer than two months into his new post, Adrian Autry and his assistants, from my perspective, are hitting the ground running in the recruiting arena.

Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry and his staff are busy in the recruiting department.

It’s true that the ‘Cuse, in this off-season, has lost some players on its 2022-23 roster to the NCAA’s transfer portal, and Syracuse basketball is searching for a veteran center after senior Jesse Edwards moved to West Virginia.

But Autry & Co. have also brought in two transfer guards, Notre Dame freshman J.J. Starling and Auburn freshman Chance Westry. And as it pertains to high-school prospects, this Orange coaching staff is really being aggressive, which is delightful to see.

In recent days, Syracuse basketball coaches made visits to numerous high-school players, including 2024 four-star power forward Donnie Freeman and 2024 four-star center Patrick Ngongba II from the Washington, D.C., area, as well as 2024 four-star guard Jalil Bethea from the Philadelphia area.

Last weekend, during the first NCAA live period on the AAU circuit, Orange coaches watched those three prospects and numerous others, such as 2024 four-star SG commit Elijah Moore, 2024 four-star center Thomas Sorber and 2024 four-star point guard Mikey Lewis, among others.

This weekend, from April 28 to April 30, a second live period is taking place in grassroots basketball, and I’ll be curious to see what ‘Cuse coaches are up to during this second session.

Since that first live period ended, Syracuse basketball has offered at least six prospects who hail from the 2024 and 2025 classes.

Those new targets include Lewis, Ngongba, 2025 four-star guard/small forward Cam Ward, 2024 four-star guard/small forward Caleb Williams, 2025 five-star shooting guard Darryn Peterson and 2025 four-star forward Sadiq White.

Freeman, toward the beginning of April, took an official visit to the Hill. In March, the Syracuse basketball coaching staff watched several recruiting targets during their high-school post-season playoffs, such as Bethea (twice) and Sorber, along with ‘Cuse pledge Moore.

Now, what ultimately matters is the Orange landing commitments from some of these prospects, although Moore verbally committing to the ‘Cuse in late January got the squad’s 2024 cycle off to a great start.

We’ll see how Adrian Autry and his terrific staff end up faring with these various targets, but I’m sure many Syracuse basketball fans would agree with me that the assertive recruiting efforts by Autry and his assistants are highly encouraging.

Syracuse basketball putting on full-court press for 4-star big man from D.C.. dark. Next