Syracuse Basketball: This off-season, Adrian Autry a big recruiting winner

Syracuse basketball, Adrian Autry (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Adrian Autry (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /
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In early March, Adrian Autry was named as the Syracuse basketball head coach to replace the legendary Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, who retired as the sport’s second-winningest coach, winning more than 1,000 games, getting to 20 Sweet 16s, journeying to five Final Fours, and capturing a national championship in 2003.

Those are some massive shoes for Autry to fill, and it remains to be seen how he will fare on the court in his first season at the helm of the Orange in a few months’ time. But since being anointed as the ‘Cuse head coach a couple of months ago, Autry has proven a big recruiting winner in my book.

The explosion of the NCAA’s transfer portal will likely change the sport of college hoops forever, and Syracuse basketball has, like many other schools, felt its effects this off-season, both positively and negatively.

Given the transfer portal, NIL, professional aspirations, injuries and other factors, being a head coach at the Division I level is no easy task. Adrian Autry and his assistants, from a recruiting standpoint, are injecting a lot of energy, enthusiasm and positivity into the Orange program.

Syracuse basketball head coach Adrian Autry has fared well in recruiting this off-season.

Okay, let’s get the “negatives” out of the way first. Senior center Jesse Edwards, an All-ACC performer in the 2022-23 campaign, transferred to West Virginia. Replacing his production and presence on both ends of the floor will prove a huge challenge.

Senior shooting guard Joe Girard III transferred to fellow Atlantic Coast Conference squad Clemson. Girard led the ‘Cuse in scoring last season, when Syracuse basketball went 17-15 overall. Some fans think he is a defensive liability, but there’s no denying that looking ahead to 2023-24, two of the Orange’s top-three scorers are gone.

Additionally, senior reserve guard Symir Torrence transferred to Binghamton, and redshirt-junior reserve forward John Bol Ajak is also in the transfer portal.