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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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Credit the ‘Cuse staff this off-season

One other thing before I sign off here. As Autry & Co. have lined up these various commitments, whether through the transfer portal or from high-school recruits, I’ve seen some ‘Cuse fans make comments that suggest Adrian Autry and his assistants don’t deserve much praise, if any, for these recruiting wins, because the Orange coaching staff had prior relationships with guys like Starling, Westry and Cuffe. Respectfully, that sort of sentiment from some Orange fans is total non-sense.

It’s true that while they were in high school, Syracuse basketball coaches recruited those three. Starling officially visited the Hill twice and had the Orange in his top five before picking Notre Dame.

Westry also took an official visit to the ‘Cuse and had Syracuse basketball in his top 10 before committing to Auburn. Orange coaches also recruited Cuffe for a period of time, and he even attended the team’s annual Elite Camp in 2019.

Furthermore, McLeod said in an interview prior to committing to Syracuse basketball that the ‘Cuse coaching staff had been watching him since he was a freshman in high school.

So, yeah, Syracuse basketball coaches had prior relationships with its new transfer commitments. That didn’t guarantee these players would automatically commit to the Orange after they hit the transfer portal this off-season.

The ‘Cuse coaching staff had to navigate what other suitors these players were hearing from, convince them of their fit being a good one in the team’s system, assure them that playing time would be available in 2023-24 or beyond, and also likely consider other factors including NIL.

Therefore, there were probably challenges and hurdles for Syracuse basketball coaches in landing Westry, Starling, McLeod and Cuffe out of the portal, while retaining eight 2022-23 players, holding onto the verbal commitments of Patterson and the top-70 Moore, as well as securing a pledge from the top-40 Freeman.

Absolutely, this is all talk on my part and some conjecture/speculation. I readily acknowledge that it remains to be seen if Adrian Autry can improve upon the Orange’s disappointing performances over the last two years and return Syracuse basketball to March Madness.

Still, what Adrian Autry and assistants Gerry McNamara, Allen Griffin and Brenden Straughn have done on the recruiting trail in recent months, to me, has proven highly encouraging. Oh, and Autry retaining Coach GMac and Coach Griff, and also bringing on board Coach Straughn, was further proof that Adrian Autry is the right person to lead Syracuse basketball moving forward.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: 4-star Kiyan Anthony, 5-star Tyler Jackson eye visit. dark