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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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Advantages and areas of concern

Putting aside the team’s 2024 recruiting efforts, in the 2023-24 season, the squad has 13 guys on scholarship, and this roster, on paper, boasts a ton of athleticism, speed, versatility and potential.

Now, again, for context, replacing the scoring of Girard and Edwards is a question mark. The center position, generally speaking, is an area to monitor. That being said, McLeod’s sophomore statistics are similar to Edwards’, and I’m cautiously optimistic that McLeod can make a big junior-season leap as Jesse did.

Let’s not forget that McLeod played limited minutes over the past two seasons at Florida State, which historically plays a deep rotation. And in one game against the Orange in 2022-23, McLeod showed what he can do, producing a season-high 16 points, along with eight rebounds, two blocks and one assist, in 26 minutes off of the bench.

Certainly, the ‘Cuse in 2023-24 needs to vastly improve its defense and its rebounding. Shooting from beyond the arc is another facet to watch. Last term, Williams, Taylor and Bell showed an ability to knock down 3-pointers, but they have to do so more consistently. By extension, Starling, Westry and Mintz all must improve from deep.

Mintz electing to come back after testing the 2023 NBA Draft waters is huge. The backcourt is loaded with guys who can suit up at point guard, shooting guard and on the wing at small forward.

Adrian Autry has said that in 2023-24, he wants to play a mix of man-to-man and zone defensive schemes. He wants to play at a fast, up-tempo pace, and that could include getting out more in transition as well as utilizing a full-court or half-court press.

With such an athletic and deep roster, he should be able to do those things and not have to worry about fatigue being an issue.

Williams has two years in the ‘Cuse system, and I think he’s poised for a strong junior stanza. Mintz, Taylor, Bell, Copeland, Brown and Hima all have a year with the program under their belts. Carey is taking a medical redshirt for 2022-23, and I think both he and Patterson are longer-term developmental players.